Look Back to Look Forward – The Scottish Football Monitor

Look Back to Look Forward

Everyone on this site has football experiences, views, stories and opinions. Everyone also wants things to be better in the future too. These are bonds that make us who we are and this forum what it is.

I’ll share a few experiences with you now.

I will never forget an impromptu and inspirational 60 minute Q. and A. masterclass by Davie MacParland to a group of relative youngsters at Hampden in 1975 after Scottish Unis had played a friendly with his team.

It was “over the moon Brian” time for me on finding a £5 note in my shoe. This was after I played my first game (unexpectedly) as an S form in the Highland League when my club’s  Aberdeen-based players had been held up by a road incident.

So happy and corrupted was I that I never questioned the widespread practice of giving money to amateur players thereafter so I’m part of the problem.

I also sat next to a young Jim Leyton who came to Butchart to watch himself on a match video after he had let in two goals when we dumped Deveronvale (where he was on loan) out of the Aberdeenshire Cup.  It was the very early days of video and Jim had never seen himself on a tv before.

Every person in the SFM community will have equally diverse and interesting experiences and I’m going to share one more with you now in a little more detail.

In the mid 90s I was given an amazing insight into how Scottish football really worked. In many ways it hasn’t changed much since.

Back then I was part of a small group brought in to help find funding for the upgrade of Tynecastle with the urgent need to construct three new stands. At the time it was a massive requirement for a very financially challenged organisation and at a push there were potentially just about enough pots of monies available from several sources to trigger the investment from the Football Trust and squeak over the line.

The most critical pot was mobilising the fans.

My role was to find a way of getting them to come aboard working with some fine lifetime Hearts fans like the late Alex Kitson so it would all look like a Hearts Community rather than a Mercer initiative.

The then, colourful Hearts majority owner was under constant pressure on other fronts at the time.

The team was not really performing with relatively new manager Jim Jeffries trying to get best out of predecessor Tommy Mclean’s mixed bag of old pros and kids. Making things worse was a growing, highly critical and very vocal consortium of local business people trying to get Mercer out (and themselves in).

I guess you could say in today’s parlance that they were RHM and civil war was very much happening down Gorgie way.

Anyway I can’t now recall all the detail and apologies if my memories have fused a little but a key AGM type meeting for Hearts shareholders at Ingliston was coming up and there was an agenda that looked like it might hurt “The Chairman” as Wallace liked to be called.

Never any flies on him though, he had seen the danger signs and was ready in his own way.

He turned up with his trusted few and simply yet quite brilliantly hijacked the negative agenda and ignored the real issues. He didn’t have a solution for them and couldn’t implement the changes that were in reality needed but quite simply he kicked all the trouble into the long grass.

He did this because he fundamentally understood that most shareholders in the room were just ordinary football fans and wanted nothing more than to be able to talk about football the game, Hearts their club, who they were due to play next and who would be playing.

It was that simple.

Mercer’s message to all that night was “Yes things have been tough but our best possible future is with me”.

He rammed this home by confidently telling the assembled body that Hearts were on the up because we had a new manager who needed time and then blew everyone away by announcing he just signed three amazing new players for them, Giles Rousset, Bruno Pasquale and Hans Eskilsson. After the applause and mayhem died down he had won.

Bruno and Rousset were newsworthy in any Scottish football context one being a French International and the other an ex Juventus tough guy with a EUFA and a couple of Coppa Italia winners medals.

Oh and Eskilsson had amazing hair.

Mercer’s simple bit of insight, showmanship, brinksmanship, call it what you like, led to the survival of his regime.

In a parallel maybe to what the SFA did after their meeting with Craig at the Hotel Du Vin in Glasgow, Mercer had enough time to be ready for the trouble he knew was coming and used his power to ignore the real issues and the detail and move on with a big gamble.

Looking back Wallace got a lot right .

He understood what the majority of ordinary football fans wanted. He’d also learnt that good press was needed and came from feeding the football writers enough tasty exclusives so they’d look after him in a symbiotic relationship, the kind of relationship that remains much the same today.

Even back then in the days when there were less full-colour pages pre-allocated to certain teams to fill and  more able journalists to fill them, the sports pages were about game reports and gossip rather than insight.

The packs of hacks all craved being handed tasty semi-exclusive stories.

It was and ever is thus and in those days the Daily Record was a wee gem with circulation nearer 700K than the 200K-ish today and amazingly all its costs were covered by it’s advertising revenue alone. The proud boast of Endell Laird was the purchase price was pure profit.

With hindsight Wallace may only have postponed the inevitable campaign by the RHM rebels that night at Ingliston. History tells us that the Robinson/Deans rebellion eventually forced their chance. They did have to dig much deeper financially than they ever wanted when their time eventually came, and soon fell out too, but that’s another story.

Wallace’s long grass was just never going to be deep enough to hide the issues he wanted to ignore but to his credit on his watch the stadium was upgraded and the first Scottish Cup since 1956 was paraded to the fans.

Mr. Mercer was an operator who like others before and since could see personal and business value in owning a club.

He cultivated friendly football writers.

He learned that the SFA could be difficult to deal with but much less so when you placed people on their various management boards. That was key to the inner power sanctums and brought you at best influence and at worst early warnings.

He may have been autocratic but knew you needed powerful friends at other clubs too and was always close with David Murray in particular.

So what has this little piece of retrospection and a handful of Finloch football stories got to do with a blog on SFM?

Last week I met Big Pink for the first time over a few coffees.

It was like meeting an old friend in the pub because of all the stuff we’ve lived through and shared over the last 5 or so years.

We talked about stuff and traded stories and opinions on life, football and about SFM what it does and what we are.

We got on to the subject of it’s future and with my business background he asked me to consider a piece for the blog about where the SFM, our fledgling business might go from here.

I maybe agreed too hastily because I have found it challenging to gather and spell out my thoughts.

So this is very much a starting couple of steps to bring in the SFM minds and set up future discussions following this blog and when we meet in Perth in April.

My starting point was to first consider what we are today.

It’s a personal view but to me SFM is a valued medium I come to most days. It’s for when I want to find out or to discuss what is happening.

It is populated with a bunch of people with different backgrounds, skills and insights, is always polite and often very funny.

I’d actually like to see more headline blogs because I enjoy them but our biggest value will always be analysis discussion and good humour.

SFM is fundamentally different to the MSM back pages that still offer us all a mono diet of whatever day-to-day gossip they have been spoon-fed by the Level 9’s of this world or made up and maybe embellished with a random phone call for a quote.

Yes their world is declining and will inevitably see fundamental restructure and change but that change has in reality nothing to do with how they cover and will continue to cover Scottish football.

I’d even posit (to use a wee word I’ve learned from the excellent JJ site I visit sometimes) that the red tops currently see their style of football coverage as a way of slowing their inevitable declines because it delivers the difficult to reach male audience their advertisers crave access to.

As a spectator I’d say the MSM in Scotland mostly seem to suffer from a polarised demographic focus/ bias too but that can never excuse their revisionism or the Spiers and Haggerty episodes we’ve just witnessed.

There is one benefit though. One you maybe hadn’t thought about from all the dreadful MSM football reportage.

The stuff they collectively generate enables all of us to have daily conversations with friends and strangers without actually saying anything about anything.

It gives us our daily top-up for the international language of football minutiae we all converse in every day.

I’ve been able to speak it fluently since I was in my teens. You know the kind of thing – the ins and outs, the ups and downs, the comings and goings and the toings and froings.

The good news, the bad news the made-up news – its all part of being involved with a team or indeed just being a football fan and it’s all conversation for the males of our species.

There are plenty of places I can and do get access to that kind of stuff but SFM isn’t and never has been a source.

I quickly found out that most of my pals don’t want to talk about side letters in the pub on a Friday, or the need for asterisked titles because they are more interested in tomorrow’s match and who will be out of contract at the end of the season.

Without being disrespectful in any way I think they are cut from the same wood as the majority of Mr. Mercer’s Hearts shareholders and if I’m honest part of me is too.

That has given our administrators and clubs too easy a ride.

Beyond the gossip it is fair to say in the last 40 or 50 years football has changed beyond all recognition.

It has become a source of power and money and as we know proverbially and in real life power can corrupt and money can be the root of all-evil.

The stuff happening at FIFA now can be no surprise to any fair-minded fan and I’d be inclined to think that there have been finagled decisions at the top for longer than the current stewardship of Mr. Blatter.

Way longer.

Football-land is a dirty world. A world where all the transparency is for show and real stuff has always been controlled and rewarding for those in the right places.

Closer to home football in Scotland is no different. Power and money have been the origins of our own North of the Border soap opera saga.

Its sometimes been very funny, often been entertaining too but is ultimately tragic and a sad indictment on our country.

Being Scotland nothing is ever as simple as it should be.

We started from a unique kind of place where for over a century we have had to live with an unhealthy, quasi-tribal, two-club duopolistic domination of all things football including the fans, the trophies, the money, the media attention and the administrators controlling our game.

The stark reality of 2016 is our biggest club/economy now finds its real ambitions thwarted, potentially forever, by its location in our restrictive league structure. It has nowhere currently to go and annoyingly the biggest league in the world is just over the border and part of the same country in political terms.

This is a destabilising influence on our game that won’t go away until change allows the next evolution.

Our second biggest economy as we now know had to cheat a little to keep up, post Fergus, and is now making its way back to the top end but with some truly nuclear baggage that I guess we still really only know the half of. Nothing will be simple in its return to what we’re told everyday is its rightful place. It too is a latent destabilising influence awaiting like a grumbling volcano.

What depresses me is the fact that the much-vaunted return of our dysfunctional duopoly is not a formula to recreate  the European success we all took for granted for so long. Those days will never return.

The decline of the Scottish giant that was and is Rangers has dominated our thoughts because it encapsulates so much more than what is wrong with our game.

It is a huge business and establishment fall from grace. A shocking story that has become an elephant in the room to our politicians, our media and many of our fellow fans and is still playing out to deafening silence in some quarters.

In the manic run up to the decline of David Murray’s club we benefitted from insights from the seminal RTC and were bombarded with mass denials from almost everywhere else.

We witnessed the £1 sale to Craig Whyte, the subsequent McCoist European failure, the eventual slide into messy liquidation with tax issues etc.

Our administrators failed us all the way through because they had a different agenda.

Our MSM didn’t want to know partly because it involved more than regurgitating press releases and partly because it was real news for real reporters and not back pages gossip.

Their editors failed us there too, big time.

Now the revisionism and invention of the post-liquidation ephemeral club and company scenarios has been creative to say the least.

I remember Mr. Traynor’s  initial headline and smile how he and others are now wading in a contradictory swamp of their own making. It’s all confusion when it needn’t be.

I only know the kind of stuff that really happened because of this site and its RTC predecessor.

Four or five years on and I think these guys (SFA, SPFL) acted like Wallace Mercer did at Ingliston and ran roughshod over process to “win”.

These well paid admin staff were never off-piste though and our clubs share complicity for their actions to varying degrees.

If I was Regan’s or Doncaster’s devil’s advocate I could just about comprehend that they acted because they feared for their TV revenues. The prospect of being without half of their duopoly ace card and the blue fans scared them and they were mandated by the clubs to maintain the status quo.

I don’t mean all the clubs but if we look at the key committee structures we’ll easily see who were in that inner sanctum at the time. They collectively decided to throw their rulebook out the window and there is no grass long enough to bury their collective actions because truth always outs.

Cast yourself back a few years not long before the St Valentine’s day 2012 news when the push was all for a 10 club league.

I remember Stewart Milne aggressively trying to sell us all a 10-club league because of the TV revenue it delivered (to the few).

At that time there seemed to be a collective “TV Gold Fever” prevailing in the cabal of top club chairmen that makes the real decisions and tells our administrators what to do.
Luckily they failed.

They nearly failed again too in 2012 with their tawdry 5 way agreement  and we all owe a debt of gratitude to the late Turnbull Hutton whose personal integrity, bloody-mindedness and leadership meant a significant change to the premeditated 5 way plan that our top clubs had all signed off.

Since then we’ve all suffered from Armageddon and long may it stay.

SFM has been at the forefront of the last five years. A place where fans from all the clubs come together to question, analyse, give insight, balance, consciousness on all aspects of the meandering road that has been this story so far.

It’s all recorded on our archives somewhere too. We’ve noted and discussed the following and more –

  • Two different signatures from the same club on the 5-way agreement
  • Two different and concurrent memberships of the SFA
  • Players TUPE-ing for free and no lawyers getting rich in trying to get them back
  • Pre-season games being cancelled because of registration and insurance issues
  • The Brechin game coming too soon for the paperwork
  • The entry-round in The Ramsdens Cup for the old club or is it the new club?
  • Record crowds, an even more aggressive songbook
  • Ian Black getting a surprise call-up and a bit of a game to legitimise  The New Rangers with their first cap
  • Millions raised from a gullible city and desperate fans but still several last gasp saves needed to avoid new financial stramashes
  • A charity that pays for holidays in America
  • Quasi-legal stuff with dodgy parameters for questionable enquiries like Nimmo Smith
  • Bryson and his logic that Spartans could and should have used to stay in the cup
  • A “Hopelessly Conflicted Chairman” re-elected and a new one who has fitted in seamlessly
  • Real legal stuff like HMRC appeals, and phrases like side-letters
  • Charlotte Fakes and maybe even Fake Charlotte Fakes
  • Fit and proper persons running our clubs
  • Recorded conversations
  • Onerous contracts
  • Metaphysical concepts of what football clubs in our courts with big bucks being spent on our behalf by our administrators

There is and has been a whole lot more and more to come on the schedules too.

How much of this would I have found on our MSM?

Very little – so thanks to those who go the extra mile for us including John Clark, EasyJambo and others at the courts,  Phil who will never go away, James Doleman and others too including JJ – all playing blinders where the hacks don’t dare.

Finally fast-forward to today.

Most Scottish fans probably know a little about the stuff I’ve touched upon and we’ve debated in depth. Not enough though.

But we have Darryl Broadfoot who is the SFA so we can all sleep rest assured each night.

 

Going forward we must address how we communicate as a medium to spread the word.

Ask yourself – Is what we do more important than knowing Rangers signed Dean Windass’s son from Accrington Stanley on a free because he’s going to play for England one day and stuff like that?

I’d say it is different although both have a place.

Our challenge is to create more impact with ours.

In finishing I have one serious starting proposal to make as a community but first a thank you.

Thank you to all the blog writers and posters because we have collectively created a site where real stuff can be dissected and discussed politely and in a non-partisan way.

Well done to the mods in particular and to our community In general

 

My simple proposal as our first step forward is to start a Wikipedia style library of the facts and keep it on our site.

Dates, happenings, people and all the stuff that will not allow any of it to stay buried forever in the long grass. The kind of detail that is in Auldheid’s amazing and resolute Resolution 12.

Chapter and verse whys and wherefores with dates and names.

 

This will achieve three things.

  • It will create bedrock for us as a trusted media channel whatever we decide to become.
  • It will put stuff factually into the public domain forever.
  • It will contradict any highly paid revisionists trying to change what really happened for their own agendas into the future.
Finloch

Finloch

Finloch has been a member of SFM since it's inception. A Hearts fan, he also penned the blog, Look Back to Look Forward

1,978 Comments
  1. Castofthousands


    CASTOFTHOUSANDSMARCH 27, 2016 at 12:27
    “I’d like to consider the costs one by one.”
    ————————————-
    What the ‘Rangers saga’ tells us about other things.
    Thanks for the responses to my earlier pieces.
    There are a number of other costs that might be swept up in the broad category underlined above. In some ways there have been benefits as well as costs since a great deal of light was shed on business practice as a result of the Rangers debacle. I Think that fans, supporters, governing bodies and even journalists might be in a better position to look a gift horse in the mouth should similar circumstances occur in the future. In a sense the fans took football back. The limits of financial models were made manifest and fans and supporters to some extent occupied the ground vacated by the media. 
    What was amply illustrated was that the national sport was highly susceptible to infection by rabid capitalist organisms. The promise of customer goodwill allied with the wide eyed prospects of using competitive sport to leverage a business model seems very appealing to some. The power and the glory. 
    It is a strange irony and yet far from remarkable, that Rangers demise should have been premised on a shock downturn of the World economy. That economic shock wave dislodged from their foundations those institutions that had become too top heavy. Rangers were only one minor example of this. The capitalist model has clear guidance on what should happen in such an eventuality; businesses not well founded should be allowed to fail. Yet on a global stage and much more colloquially we seen a rowing back from the cast iron certainties which up to that point had been the prevailing zeitgeist. Multi-billion dollar banks and regional sporting clubs all escaped the full ignominy of their decisions. It was the biggest cop out ever and yet it was enacted before our very eyes: Hullo! Can nobody see me?
    Yes ladies and gentlemen, huge masquerades are a routine feature of our pointless existence. Thank god for that then.
    In many ways the farrago has been entertaining, engrossing, enlightening and dare I say it; endless. So who has this cost?
    Investment in football. Though there will be squillions of future investors, just off our radar screens, they might have been made a bit more cautious about getting involved if there is a stench of skulduggery about the place. You might even attract the wrong kind of shark, I mean investor. So investment in football has probably been affected to some extent by what could be viewed as maladministration within a major partner of the football league.
    Fans have incurred costs. Its hard to know what if any proportion of the funds contributed by Rangers supporters have not found their way to their intended beneficiary. There is so much that is indeterminate in this story that the speculation could suffocate you. However there is a strong suspicion that various monies contributed by Rangers fans in support of their club may not have obtained best value.
    The reputation of Scottish football in general has probably taken a knock. What the fans have uncovered the governing bodies would have rather stayed hidden since it is all rather embarrassing and it doesn’t help attract future sponsorship. I’m a zealout when it comes to liability. If you make a significant mis-judgement and this shortcoming becomes highlighted, then you need to take full responsibility for your actions. Even if the whistle blowing is malicious you nevertheless are culpable for your own actions. The governing bodies duties should surely have encompassed the enactment of their own rule book in a judicious manner. If you want to play the offside rule then you know the consequences. The authorities were caught off side and the assistant referee’s flag flutters in the wind to indicate so.
    The creditors of football clubs also bear a cost of course. They have some redress through the receivership process that RFC (IL) now enjoys.

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  2. Auldheid


    ReiverMarch 30, 2016 at 11:33 14 0 i Rate This 
    Auldheid
    On the subject of Celtic suggesting that it would be better for the fans to contact UEFA than the club, was that suggestion made in writing. If it were then surely that could be included in your documentation to UEFA as proof that you were doing the club’s bidding. It might just be enough to put your paperwork on the top of their pile.
    ==========================
    I’d like to clarify that going to UEFA was a decision taken by the shareholders reps, as much as a threat to get answers from the SFA as something we wanted to do. 
    Celtic could not stop us even if they wanted to.
    It came as a result of ongoing SFA intransigence.
    The record of that intransigence we do have, and that should push it up the pile.
    It was also a way of getting around the provenance issue in terms of PLC responsibilities.
    Regardless of the arguments of that approach, the questions that strategy has produced  has also raised the profile of Res12.
    No such thing as bad publicity?

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  3. Auldheid


    Corrupt officialMarch 30, 2016 at 03:13 
    I find everything over time works for the good, particularly what appears as bad, with hindsight, is just a step in a process.

    That process is still ongoing (and I’m not saying that lightly).

    http://www.celticquicknews.co.uk/leigh-kieran-marking-your-card/ 

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  4. Auldheid


    jockybhoyMarch 29, 2016 at 19:33 10 2 i Rate This  Am I happy that the press and everyone from UEFA to the SMSM via the SNP and the CIA (ok was runnng out of initialisms but you get my point) has glossed over the shortcomings of OldGers, NewGers, OldSFA and NewSPFL? Hell no, but again, this isn’t a cause with which to start a Celtic civil war, it should be about holding those responsible at the sports governing bodies accountable – that IS as you say what Resolution 12 was meant to be about.

    Agreed and lets not look sight of it and lets demand it.
    Final word from me on this: I am all in favour of pursuing Financial Fair Play in Scotland, but TBH I’d be happy with getting that going forward, given the ongoing shenanigans down Ibrox rather than scoring points fighting dead enemies. And tbh the fact that the SPFL even put it in their questionnaire is a victory for the fans I feel…
    Domestic FFP is the answer and the only thing holding up its introduction is the problems it will give the regulators in respect of at least one club if not more. Its introduction is a must in Scotland, a no brainer after the disastrous consequences its absence has produced.

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  5. Auldheid


    CrownStBhoyMarch 29, 2016 at 19:53 28 0 i Rate This 
    Auldheid My choice of wording should have been better; the Celtic Board today are constricted but initially they were not. My point is they could have acted long before any of these impending court cases were on the horizon, they chose to not do so. My apologies for creating confusion.
    =================
    No need and I wish there had been no reason to explain why the Club could not tackle earlier i.e. the provenance of what caused Res12 to be adjourned.

    I only commented because now more than ever the current justice proceedings are a factor at play and I didn’t want that dismissed.

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  6. Auldheid


    JJ’s latest blog will be familiar to many SFM readers and it has the value of placing that LNS narrative and those who played a part in it to a wider audience.
    An Uphill Task
    http://johnjamessite.com/2016/03/30/an-uphill-task/comment-page-1/#comment-11858
    The comment awaiting clearance that again SFM readers will be familiar with is:
    Who actually looked into the player files in 2005? Did Mr McMillan travel to Ibrox and do a personal search on his own or  did he ask Andrew Dickson who held them since 2004 to have a look?
    Somebody had to look for them so who deliberately misled HMRC?

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  7. Ex Ludo

    Ex Ludo


    Serious blog content today. People need to pay attention. Meanwhile in a faraway land via the daily mail.
    “Rangers may kill Sylvester the lion after he escaped from a national park again”
    Sorry, couldn’t resist.

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  8. paddy malarkey

    paddy malarkey


    Pardon my ignorance, but is there not a minimum qualification requirement for managers in the Scottish Premiership, or is it just aspirational ?

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  9. justshatered

    justshatered


    I was interested to read that the fine is now going to be deducted from prize money.
    Given what we know about the finances of ‘The Rangers’ is this the only way they can get the money?
    Perhaps someone should ask Regan if the bill has crystalized yet and, if it has, why is there not a demand for immediate payment?
    No the SFA will wait until prize money is to be dished out at the end of the season. I mean they’ve only been waiting FOUR years for the cash!!
    This is not receiving payment from the club/company and this is an important point; the club has been fined therefore the club has to pay. The club/company seem to be refusing to pay and will only have money deducted from prize money which begs the question “What if ‘The Rangers’ were not in a position to get promoted?”
    It is incumbent upon all clubs/companies to show good faith so is it good faith not to pay fines as they fall due to make it look to your support as if you are in conflict yet again. This is about accountability and accepting the rule of the games administrators. As spineless as they are this makes them look even weaker if that is at all possible!
    Once again there is an organisation not playing by the same rules as everyone else. They should be told two weeks to pay or either the fine increases or there is a ten point deduction and, if the delay continues, the points and/or fine increase. Of course we all know this will never happen so it will be interesting to see what happens the next time a club is fined and they say “take it out of our prize money at the end of the season!!”
    I think we all know what the answer will be.
    This really is a complete farce!
    Everyone knows they’re skint, the administrators know they’re skint, so they aren’t chased for the fine but allowed to strengthen their squad.
    Incompetence piled upon corruption, plied with financial ineptitude, and wrapped in arrogance. That is Scottish football in 2016.

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  10. StevieBC

    StevieBC


    JUSTSHATEREDMARCH 30, 2016 at 20:15 
    I was interested to read that the fine is now going to be deducted from prize money…
    =================
    I think that this is mibbees just a general assumption by the SMSM that the fine will be deducted from prize money.

    Maybe TRFC will ask for [or demand] a monthly ‘payment plan’ instead – for the good of Scottish football !

    But one would think that interest – at the very least – should be applied to a c. 3 or 4 years old debt ?

    And if the Govan club had any class, and wanted to make a tangible, worthwhile acknowledgement to Scottish football for the trouble the club(s) has caused everyone, and to make some token reparation…the fine should be paid without complaint now – with a further GBP250K being donated direct to a grass roots football scheme – or even to the Homeless World Cup which IIRC is being held in Scotland next ?

    That could buy them a few brownie points…well that’s if TRFC was looking to make a least one new friend on completion of ‘its journey’ to the top league…  14

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  11. easyJambo


    The Record finally seems to have caught up on what was discussed on here immediately after the budget.

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Ce08uBgWQAAFz03.jpg

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  12. StevieBC

    StevieBC


    EASYJAMBOMARCH 30, 2016 at 22:56 
    The Record finally seems to have caught up on what was discussed on here immediately after the budget.
    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Ce08uBgWQAAFz03.jpg
    =======================
    I suppose TRFC might feel obliged to arrange benefit matches to aid these unfortunate ex-RFC players, who could face financial problems in the future ?

    And it would provide an appropriately farcical completion to the whole, sorry EBT saga…  10

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  13. John Clark


    easyJamboMarch 30, 2016 at 22:56
    ‘..The Record finally seems to have caught up on what was discussed on here immediately after the budget..
    __________
    I just love the inverted commas around the word ‘loans’, as if the DR shared the view that there was some doubt whether they were loans.020202
    However, we all know that the DR is not at all the most reliable press organ in the world in terms of factual accuracy( although its skill at fabrication is well off the radar).
    But if, indeed, any of the stars face ‘bankruptcy’, they have one of their own, a RRM who was also el Presidente of the SFA and who knows a thing or two about a thing or two, and something about personal bankruptcy as well, who will surely offer them advice and guidance.
    But, again, if they have any sense, they’ll change their agents!

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  14. tony

    tony


    JOHN CLARK
    Maybe a tad late in changing anything John 

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  15. John Clark


    No, not el presidente, just CEO of the SFA! Sorry about that.

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  16. upthehoops


    The Daily Record front page today certainly is a surprise, and completely at odds with their back page strategy. I am informed earlier this week they devoted several pages to ‘the journey’ from 4th tier to 1st, without ever mentioning how the 4th tier came about. Ditching tens of millions of debt, including much to the public purse, is never mentioned it seems. Apparently one day Rangers were simply forced to the 4th tier by a bunch of vicious haters and have somehow overcome all in their path, with the final great battle still to come. 

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  17. jimbo

    jimbo


    I find it difficult to keep in check my more base emotions about rich footballers facing ruin because they participated in tax avoidance.  In fairness, like any other group of individuals there will be some who are more intelligent and moral than others.  Following their agent’s / accountant’s advice. 

    But there are some – Campbell Ogilvie,  Graham Souness, Sir David Murray – for example,  I have no sympathy for.  getting everything they deserve.  I hope.

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  18. Reiver

    Reiver


    Auldheid March 30, 2016 at 16:36

    Sorry for the delay.

    I wish I could share your optimism but from what I can see just sending documentation to UEFA is not enough, you need to get them to read it. As I stated before, if it is not from a member, it will be put on the pile along with the “huge”(UEFA rep quote) numbers of Fernebahce and Galatasary supporters’ complaints. The other thing that I was told is that there are actually very few UEFA “high heid yins” based in Switzerland and so, with such a large volume of complaints, there is no chance of anyone of importance getting to view documentation after the triage is done by the office junior.
    I really do believe it essential that we get someone of importance to front any complaint if we are even to get past the first hurdle. There is much in your complaint that is not subjudice so, if you have any contacts in media, I believe now is the time for them to come on board. Give them a cut down version without the supporting emails etc that I am sure gives them cause for doubt and they have enough to compose a decent article. Even spun from the “shareholders complain to UEFA” viewpoint would be enough.
    Time is not on our side, we need to get a foot in the door.

    https://www.change.org/p/scottish-football-association-return-integrity-to-football-administration-in-scotland-94421b40-2d6b-4d4b-9cff-912c9849478f

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  19. steph1895


    Whilst laid awake during the night trying to turn off work; my mind wandered to all things SFA.
    What if the awarding of the £500k by the SFA for “winning” the Championship, and will now be used to pay back the LNS fine (plus interest) was actually awarded by the SFA to stave off administration – work with me on this.
    Dave King goes to the SFA in January and says please help us, otherwise we will be going into Administration if you don’t.
    What are the SFA going to do??
    Do they go with the 25 point penalty to continue with the “same club” myth, but put an end to automatic promotion and the commercial and financial impact that will have on the projected TV deal with the return of the O-D F–M.
    Or do you go with a 15 point penalty, so destroying the “same club” myth, which will obviously upset the supporters in Govan, but make 90% of the the other Scottish supporters happy??
    If John James is correct then this money gifted by the SFA is on its way to being spent, so the shortfall will probably be paid for by the fans or the Rangers Supporters Trust.
    I fell asleep with Dave King replacing Gary Oldman character Dr Smith in Lost In Space movie. If you remember the film, Dr Smith gets bitten by a spider like creature.
    The return of The Rangers and Dave King with The Rangers fans being his “Army of Spiders.
    Less coffee and more horlicks!!

    Just a thought……………..

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  20. wottpi


    STEPH1895MARCH 31, 2016

    All well and good but sorry to be a pedant. Are you not getting your SFA mixed up with your SPFL as it is the latter that would issue cash for winning the Championship and deal with points deductions etc?

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  21. steph1895


    WOTTPI – yes you are correct!!
    Don’t forget that it was 0300hrs in the morning and the SFA just stuck in my head.
    Oh well………….

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  22. jimbo

    jimbo


    I don’t understand the problems with the Hampden pitch, as the crow flies there can only be a few miles between Ibrox, Celtic Park and Hampden.  In other words the same weather conditions.  All 3 pitches are used as home pitches.  So why is Hampden so bad?   Is it the gardeners? the type of pitch chosen?

    It’s about time the owners of Hampden and the SFA got this sorted out.

    Have they not heard of ‘best practice’? Ask Celtic FC.

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  23. jimbo

    jimbo


    I would demolish Hamden, especially and including the offices of the SFA and the SPFL.   Those two need to be separated.  No more Regan & Doncaster nipping in to each other’s offices for a cuppa.

    Edinburgh is the capital city of our country.  There are lots of empty fields around the west end of the city beside the airport.  Easy to reach.  Build a new National Stadium there with good parking availability. And maybe a bit easier for the ‘northern’ teams.

    As for the offices of the SFA & SPFL I suggest Aberdeen and Dumfries.  Get out of the Glasgow minefield where everyone is in spitting distance of each other including the press.

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  24. blu


    JIMBOMARCH 31, 2016 at 12:10 “I would demolish Hamden, … 
    Edinburgh is the capital city of our country.  There are lots of empty fields around the west end of the city beside the airport.  Easy to reach.  Build a new National Stadium there with good parking availability. And maybe a bit easier for the ‘northern’ teams. …”
    ============================================================
    I’m sure that knight of the realm, former football club owner, Sir David Landbank Murray would agree wholeheartedly with this suggestion JIMBO. I wonder if has any contacts down Mount Florida way? 

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  25. ianagain

    ianagain


    I wonder if HB Mikeness will regret abandoning his pursuit of CCK in the  face of others being bold enough to stand up to Justice Smith

    From the Lawyer:

    Exclusive: Peter Smith J to face bias allegations in Saudi royals trialBy Tabby Kinder 23 March 2016 00:03 22 March 2016 22:39 Mr Justice Peter Smith is facing allegations of bias over a judgment he handed down in November in a case featuring the Saudi royal family.
    The judge, who had to recuse himself from the British Airways (BA) air cargo case last year over issues of conflict, will have his November judgment challenged in the Court of Appeal (CoA) on 16 May.
    The defendant in the case, Prince Abdul Aziz Bin Fahd, secured permission to appeal Peter Smith J’s ruling on Friday (18 March). The appeal is being brought on five grounds, including an allegation of “apparent bias” on the part of the judge.
    The exact nature of the allegations against Peter Smith J are not yet known. However, The Lawyer understands they could relate to a critical article written by Blackstone Chambers’ Lord Pannick QC in The Times last September about the judge’s conduct in the BA case.
    Two Blackstone silks are currently instructed by the defendant in the Saudi case and Pannick himself represented the prince until 2014.
    Friday’s directions hearing was presided over by Master of the Rolls Lord Dyson, the second most senior judge in the country. The Lawyer understands the appeal hearing has been expedited to this May in order for it to fall prior to Dyson’s planned retirement in July.
    Friday’s hearing also saw the court consider plans to hear part of the CoA date in private, though it was finally decided it would be heard publicly. The appellate court rarely considers such action and only undertakes private hearings if it is ruled necessary for the proper administration of justice.
    One Essex Court’s Lord Grabiner QC has been instructed by Clyde & Co partner Martin Davies for the appellant. Davies is acting off the record for the Saudi prince in his capacity as longstanding lawyer to the Fahd family.
    Howard Kennedy partner Steven Morris is on the record for the appellant and has instructed Blackstone’s Ian Mill QC and Shaheed Fatima QC.
    The respondent, Janan Harb, is represented by Selborne Chambers’ Romie Tager QC and Ian Clarke QC, instructed by Hughmans Solicitors.
    Harb, who claimed she was the “secret wife” of the late King Fahd – the defendant’s father – won £20m in damages following Peter Smith J’s ruling in November.
    That ruling was thought to be the conclusion of a 12-year legal battle between Harb and the Fahd family. She had claimed the late king had promised to provide her with “lifelong financial support” and after his death the prince had reneged on a deal to pay her £12m and transfer two flats in Chelsea, London to her name.
    The latest allegations against Peter Smith J follow questions about his conduct in previous cases. Last July the High Court judge recused himself from the BA air cargo cartel case after the airline lost some items of his luggage on a flight to Italy.
    Peter Smith J escalated a complaint from BA’s customer services team to its chief executive Keith Williams and the lawyers acting for the airline on the cartel case. Lawyers for BA claimed the row over the luggage could affect his judgment in handling the ongoing case.
    The judge was previously reprimanded by the Office of Judicial Complaints in 2008 after failing to recuse himself from a case. The reprimand followed negotiations between Peter Smith J and Addleshaw Goddard over the possibility of him joining the firm on a £750,000-a-year package.
    Peter Smith J declined to comment.
    The legal line-up:
    For the appellant, HRH Prince Abdul Aziz Bin Fahd
    One Essex Court’s Lord Grabiner QC, instructed by Clyde & Co partner Martin Davies; and Blackstone Chamber’s Ian Mill QC and Shaheed Fatima QC, instructed by Howard Kennedy partner Steven Morris
    For the respondent, Janan Harb
    Selborne Chambers’ Romie Tager QC and Ian Clarke QC, instructed by Hughmans Solicitors

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  26. wottpi


    As EBT’s seem to be the order of the day here is a nice little victory against the perpetually offended.
    James Doleman ‏@jamesdoleman 30m30 minutes agoPress Standards Organisation rejects Rangers Supporters Trust complain against Dundee Courier (via @TheClumpany ) 
    https://www.ipso.co.uk/IPSO/rulings/IPSOrulings-detail.html?id=320

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  27. blu


    wottpi – the article in question is here: http://www.thecourier.co.uk/sport/football/spence-on-saturday-rangers-tax-ruling-another-low-for-a-scottish-game-already-in-turmoil-1.909236 
    No surprise in the RST’s target, nor in the complaint not being upheld. 

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  28. StevieBC

    StevieBC


    1) Just my gut feeling but don’t think the EBT recipients – and especially the foreign based ex-RFC players – will be required to put their hands in their pockets to pay back taxes + .    

    2) OT: for the amusement of ebc and other bean counters…

    “Why accountants are a menace to motorists on Britain’s roads”
    http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/14395213.Why_accountants_are_a_menace_to_motorists_on_Britain_s_roads/
    [I must admit, I do find it rather difficult to use my calculator when driving... 09 ]

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  29. Matty Roth

    Matty Roth


     
    jimboMarch 31, 2016 at 12:10
    I would demolish Hamden, especially and including the offices of the SFA and the SPFL.   Those two need to be separated.  No more Regan & Doncaster nipping in to each other’s offices for a cuppa.
    Edinburgh is the capital city of our country.  There are lots of empty fields around the west end of the city beside the airport.  Easy to reach.  Build a new National Stadium there with good parking availability. And maybe a bit easier for the ‘northern’ teams.
    As for the offices of the SFA & SPFL I suggest Aberdeen and Dumfries.  Get out of the Glasgow minefield where everyone is in spitting distance of each other including the press.

    Jimbo, I’ve long thought that Hampden is not fit for purpose and if we need a national stadium at all it should be built near stirling – accessible to all.
    The SFA could also do with having their offices moved out of the Glasgow goldfish bowl and up to Stirling for example, this might start a slow process of change within the organisation.
    As you say bringing the SFA and SPFL under one roof hasn’t really helped anyone but the contrivers and conspirators.
    But we should also be asking ourselves do we really need a national stadium? Can our authorities really not be trusted to fairly distribute games around the best stadiums we have without the need for a special use extra stadium.
    A national training and development centre at stirling might be better.

     

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  30. jimbo

    jimbo


    Matty are you from around Stirling by any chance 03040421 (Don’t answer that!)

    Seriously though there is merit in your suggestions, it’s time the conversation was out there.  The current set up stinks.

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  31. John Clark


    How very interesting: a player fails to pay his agent the money he owes, and FIFA suspend him for a year! RFC fail to pay their social taxes, but the SFA tells porkies to enable them to get their UEFA licence, and gets away with it!….. So far, at least.
    It gars ye greet

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  32. upthehoops


    JOHN CLARKMARCH 31, 2016 at 18:56 
    How very interesting: a player fails to pay his agent the money he owes, and FIFA suspend him for a year! RFC fail to pay their social taxes, but the SFA tells porkies to enable them to get their UEFA licence, and gets away with it!….. So far, at least.It gars ye greet
    ====================================

    What concerns me most of all is what exactly motivated the SFA to do what they did. Was it all down to fear, bias, or pressure from above? Let’s not forget some very senior politicians spoke loudly in favour of anything being done to save Rangers, despite the large scale tax evasion that was beyond argument, with a possibility of more to come. We all know Rangers were not saved but for some reason the SFA created an illusion that they were. Had they made it clear to the new entity it was year zero in terms of trophies won it is inevitable that at some point Celtic would become more successful than the old entity, no matter the spiritual bond fans fans of the new entity felt. Was that possibility something certain figures within and outwith Scottish football simply could not stomach? Likewise, at the time of the Euro licence issue Craig Whyte had been applauded down Edminston drive by thousands of Rangers fans and was portrayed as an extremely wealthy individual. To deny Rangers a Euro licence at the time would have incurred the wrath of the support and also the media. Clearly a way had to be found. 

    Scotland really does have a long way to go in many regards. 

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  33. ianagain

    ianagain


    John ClarkMarch 31, 2016 at 18:56 14 0 i Rate This 
    How very interesting: a player fails to pay his agent the money he owes, and FIFA suspend him for a year! RFC fail to pay their social taxes, but the SFA tells porkies to enable them to get their UEFA licence, and gets away with it!….. So far, at least. It gars ye greet
    =========================
    John
    I’m guessing you refer to this chap
    http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/premier-league/emmanuel-eboue-ban-one-year-sunderland-arsenal-a6961066.html
    Further enquiry reveals the agent to be somewhat of a dark figure.
    He was part of Panorama report:
    Sorry Google translation extract:
    And the report unfortunately does not stop there: the most emblematic historical agents of blue-white-red football, those that elicit unhealthy curiosity and fantasies to each transfer window, these, not without dignity, hide their misery and are far more to be pitied; they just do not have (or more) players declared under contract!
    This is particularly the case of Arghirudis, Jean-Pierre Astier, Barberat Dominique, Jean-Luc Barresi, Thomas Belsoeur Michel Benguigui, Sebastien Boisseau, Roger Boli, Stephane Courbis, Frédéric Dobraje, Alain Migliaccio counselor time envied Zizou, Dominique six Olivier Sylvan Teni Yerima and even that had made a promising start on TV September 19, 2006 in the British documentary “Panorama” that evening devoted to the “dirty secrets of football” … what a pity!

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  34. valentinesclown

    valentinesclown


    UPTHEHOOPSMARCH 31, 2016 at 19:41
    ————————
    As you say they were not saved.  They had all the power behind them and still died.  Now was it simply that HMRC were the biggest creditors and they are beyond approach?  The SFA and powers that be in this country wanted and still want an establishment club playing in blue and residing at Ibrox.  Have they succeeded? 
    People used to say oldco newco what does it matter.  This IMO matters the most and we all know it as look at the lentghs our smsm have gone to to keep the old firm tag alive.  This is for one reason only and that is to maintain that the Ibrox club is still the same club before liquidation. 
    What does the records show concerning the last 3 leagues won by the new Govan club state?  Is there a record of this anywhere?  Have these leagues been added on to the old team’s history?

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  35. Auldheid


    Reiver
    Read this.

    http://www.celticquicknews.co.uk/leigh-kieran-marking-your-card/comment-page-15/#comment-2803505 
    Your work was excellent but it was always going to run into what it did.

    How do I know? Been there and done that on a smaller scale.

    So an alternative had to be found.
    The resolution route  worked before in 2011 when Celtic  got behind an Open Meeting  resolution asking  for a change of the video review panel process and transparency and accountability of the SFA.
    They will have to again on Res12.
    The case is too strong and the cause is good.
    Right is might.

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  36. Auldheid


    A question about the news HMRC will be able to retrieve tax on “loan” bets. 
    Does new legislation apply to all schemes similar to that used by RFC or just to schemes that were operated outside of Parliamentary intent? In short is it only ebts  with side letters that HMRC will pursue 
    Or
    Is it all ebts that turn out not to be loans repaid by 2019 regardless of side letters?
    Does this new legislation mean that the question of taxability of btc ebts is irrelevant? All that matters is if payments were loans then only repayment of the loan will allow it to escape tax?

    Does new legislation make the question of whether btc ebts were loans or not redundant in that it’s not a matter of judicial judgment but a matter of fact? IE if it’s a loan only repayment by 2019 will prove it and where repayment does not occur then each ebt that is not “settled” by then cannot be  a loan so tax is due?

     

     

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  37. ianagain

    ianagain


    AuldheidMarch 31, 2016 at 20:28 1 0 i Rate This 
    A question about the news HMRC will be able to retrieve tax on “loan” bets.  Does new legislation apply to all schemes similar to that used by RFC or just to schemes that were operated outside of Parliamentary intent? In short is it only ebts  with side letters that HMRC will pursue  Or Is it all ebts that turn out not to be loans repaid by 2019 regardless of side letters? Does this new legislation mean that the question of taxability of btc ebts is irrelevant? All that matters is if payments were loans then only repayment of the loan will allow it to escape tax?
    Does new legislation make the question of whether btc ebts were loans or not redundant in that it’s not a matter of judicial judgment but a matter of fact? IE if it’s a loan only repayment by 2019 will prove it and where repayment does not occur then each ebt that is not “settled” by then cannot be  a loan so tax is due?
    ==========================================
    Auldheid
     think I pointed out this phrase also on here viz the banking decision from the SC.
    operated outside of Parliamentary intent

    I think we wil see this being returned to again and again.
    Did parliament intend this or that scheme when enacting such and such. The answer from now on is going to be no and no and no,  they meant people to pay tax not to dream up ways around it.

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  38. bad capt madman


    I can’t help wondering why the DR ran with the EBT tax demands story. Cui bono time? Is this an early plant to have some excuse for a TRFC insolvency event if the tax is a football debt? Is it another victim poor us story? Why now? It’s not really today’s news. Something’s up methinks, the DR hasn’t suddenly gone all sporting integrity has it? Is it some ploy to rally the bears again? What’s Level 5’s brief? Is it part of an attempt to discredit or get out of the 5WA? Is it to put pressure on the establishment to lay off the tax demand? 
    Any ideas?

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  39. Highlander

    Highlander


    Below is a copy of an email I am planning to send to my club, Hearts. Sadly, I don’t realistically expect an acknowledgement, far less a reply, nor do I expect it to reach Ann Budge’s inbox. Apologies for the lack of brevity.

    For the attention of Ann Budge
     
    Dear Ann
     
    I’ve been a Hearts supporter for as long as I can remember, going back to my early days in primary school aged 4 or 5. For the last 4 of those 54 years as a fan, I feel that, in common with the majority of football fans in Scotland, I might as well have had the word ‘MUG’ tattooed prominently across my forehead; that tattoo being administered by the SFA/SP(F)L, and ultimately Hearts.
     
    Why? Well, long gone are the days when football was a sport with a level playing field, when integrity trumped financial expediency and every club was treated equally, without fear or favour. My anger has always been aimed at Stewart Regan, Neil Doncaster and Campbell Ogilvie during this period, the latter of whom has now left the scene, mission apparently accomplished, until I began to realise that these officials are merely paid employees carrying out the wishes of the clubs, including Heart of Midlothian FC.
     
    In June 2012, every newspaper in Scotland carried front and back page news of the death of Rangers Football Club. No retraction has ever been made since then, nor any explanation given as to how so many journalists, editors and insolvency experts had inexplicably got their facts so dramatically wrong. Then it transpired that this massive u-turn was the direct result of a clandestine meeting between such notable luminaries as Duff & Phelps, Charles Green and our football authorities, who had concocted a narrative that the corpse of a club propped up wearing a blue ‘born in 1872’ t-shirt was merely having a nap and had not in fact gone to the liquidation graveyard! Despite dissenters such as the BBC’s Jim Spence questioning the veracity of the story in the early days (ie before he and others were bullied and intimidated into desisting), this narrative has since been afforded factual status in a propaganda exercise that would make Kim Jong-un of North Korea seem like an amateur.
     
    The airbrushing of facts from the histories of both Scottish football and Scottish business has been nothing short of astonishing and those few hardy journalists who had the audacity to type the words Rangers and liquidation in the same sentence were quickly persuaded that the definition of the ‘L word’ had been updated in the Govan lexicon to include the modern understanding of liquidation; a mere change of corporate structure. All this despite the facts showing that ‘Rangers’ somehow ended up in the 4th tier of Scottish football despite not being relegated, nor being punished by the football authorities by way of a three-tier demotion. There was also the inconvenient fact to hide that two separate Rangers clubs existed simultaneously for a short period in 2012, meaning they could not conceivably be the same club, regardless of how fertile your imagination. The liquidation, and therefore death, of Rangers Football Club isn’t a matter of opinion – it is a matter of incontrovertible fact.
     
    I’d always foolishly assumed that part of the remit of the SFA involved actively carrying out prescribed checks and advocating financial prudence to its member clubs. It is beyond belief therefore that, following the self-inflicted demise of Rangers, the SFA should promote the notion that a club should be able to shed, via insolvency, the massive debts it accumulated through years of overspending in search of yet more silverware, rid itself of the expendable company, or mythical holding company in Rangers case, then repeat the whole exercise over and over again whilst apparently still being the same club. This is the exact scenario that the SFA has allowed to happen on its watch, so just where is the disincentive, to say nothing of the adherence to insolvency law? Indeed, why don’t you loosen the purse strings and buy Jamie Vardy and Harry Kane this summer? Ronaldo must be getting fed up in Madrid by now, so why not make him a financial offer he can’t refuse? What does it matter if we go bust after our memorable tilt at the Champions League? It’s only an expendable company that’s at stake. We’ll be safe in the knowledge that our precious club will continue unabated, as there’s a precedent for immortality!
     
    I could bore you to tears with a sentence by sentence dissection of the Lord Nimmo Smith (LNS) commission report and how it is so grossly flawed as to be embarrassing, but I’ll save us both some grief by simply stating that Neil Doncaster’s interpretation of it as “putting to bed Rangers new club/old club debate” would be laughable if it wasn’t about such a  serious matter, as would the notion that justice was seen to be done following Rangers cheating, mis-registering of players on an industrial scale for around a decade and failing to supply mandatory information to the football authorities. I suspect that any child aged eight or over who was apprised of the facts relating to the LNS commission would conclude that the inquiry was an utter sham, whereby the governing bodies fed the commission selective information, but excluded relevant but damning information (DOS EBTs) in order for it to arrive at a predetermined outcome. That contrived outcome included a ‘no stripping of titles/trophies’ clause, despite a 0-3 defeat in every affected game being the standard sanction throughout the football world for registration offences. Furthermore, recent documents reveal that Charles Green received guarantees that there would be no title stripping, even before the commission began! How was that possible, unless the whole matter was fixed in advance?
     
    Back in 2012, Stewart Regan told us variously that the action taken was for the good of Scottish football, that it was to prevent financial Armageddon, and that it was to prevent civil unrest amongst the Rangers support. I don’t think I need to spell out how wrong he was on all three counts, but what does need to be pointed out is officialdom’s blatant disregard for applying rules when any form of Rangers is involved and the lack of any meaningful, proportionate sanction, as was evident when a derisory fine (as yet unpaid 4 years later) was imposed following the LNS farce, yet other clubs have been expelled from competitions for genuine administration errors such as missing a signature/date from a document. Further malfeasance by the governing body was evident when Rangers were awarded a UEFA license in 2011, despite having overdue social taxes. This was just one more example of the SFA pandering to its favourite club with no thought given to those other clubs who were to lose out financially as a consequence. There are 42 losers when the football authorities constantly demonstrate being in thrall to a cheating club and its new born offspring – the other 41 clubs, and the biggest loser of all – integrity.
     
    Our football authorities seem fixated on the notion that at least four Celtic/Rangers* hate fests every season will be the panacea for all Scottish football’s woes. Putting aside the fact that there can never be another Old Firm contest following the death of one of the participants, it beggars belief that at a time when most clubs in Scotland have started to live within their means, one new club, which holds a world record for ‘going concern’ warnings from its accountants, should be looked upon as some kind of financial messiah for the rest of us. Indeed, it is staggering that the SFA, who issued the new club with a license to play in the first place, hasn’t intervened when it is patently obvious that the new club is living a hand to mouth existence and struggling to get to the end of each season. Whenever anybody says that Scottish football needs a strong Rangers, what they really mean is that Rangers need a strong Rangers!
     
    Finally, to the crux of the matter. I am an avid reader of various football forums and I can assure you that masses of fans throughout Scotland have become so disillusioned with the way our game is run, as described above, that they are not going to renew their season tickets. They’re going to withdraw all financial support to their clubs, much as that will be painful, because they don’t want to spend another cent propping up a game that is no longer a sport; a game that is fixed, a game that is a sham, a game whose governing body has lied and continues to lie about the death of one of its clubs, and a game where that governing body has awarded the titles and trophies of that dead club to a new club which didn’t even exist when they were won. Stewart Regan recently met a highly respected member of the Scottish Football Monitor, in person, face to face. When asked what he would do if presented with incontrovertible evidence of cheating by Rangers, Regan replied “Nothing!”. Mr Regan might yet turn out to be right when he foretold of Armageddon, only he wasn’t prescient enough to perceive of being its architect. He, and his sidekick Doncaster, and by extension the clubs themselves, obviously think that the massed ranks of football supporters zip up the back. I’m sure that you, as a successful businesswoman, would never dream of ignoring the views of your customers, yet that is precisely what the clubs and their mouthpieces are doing, again!
     
    It’s refreshing to see Tynecastle full to the rafters every second week and it’s also encouraging that you have put plans in the pipeline to build an enlarged new main stand. Let’s hope that we still have the quantity of fans to fill it when the time comes, but I fear it may take someone as honest, fearless and forthright as the late lamented Turnbull Hutton to assuage rebellious fans and quell the stench of corruption emanating from the ivory towers at Hampden.
     
    I wonder if there’s anybody out there qualified for the job. Perhaps a no-nonsense businesswoman who, amongst many other wonderful things, already has experience of successfully dealing with a group of hooligans in order to try and make the stadium more family friendly?  All it would require is one determined person to speak the truth and the whole rotting edifice would collapse in a putrid heap.
     
    Could I respectfully ask whether you subscribe to continuing the charade that has embarrassed Scottish football for the past 4 years in full view of hundreds of thousands of disbelieving fans, those fans being treated with utter contempt and disdain, almost as if they didn’t exist, far less matter? Or, do you have the moral compass to place sporting integrity before financial considerations, by sticking your head above the parapet and declaring enough is enough? You are already considered a heroine by the Hearts support for helping to save our club, but it would be futile to save Hearts, only to watch the whole of Scottish football disintegrate thanks to fan apathy instigated by those who are supposed to be the very guardians of our game.
     
    Thank you for your consideration.

    View Comment
  40. Allyjambo

    Allyjambo


    justshateredMarch 30, 2016 at 20:15 101 1 i Rate This 
    I was interested to read that the fine is now going to be deducted from prize money. Given what we know about the finances of ‘The Rangers’ is this the only way they can get the money? Perhaps someone should ask Regan if the bill has crystalized yet and, if it has, why is there not a demand for immediate payment? No the SFA will wait until prize money is to be dished out at the end of the season. I mean they’ve only been waiting FOUR years for the cash!! This is not receiving payment from the club/company and this is an important point; the club has been fined therefore the club has to pay. The club/company seem to be refusing to pay and will only have money deducted from prize money which begs the question “What if ‘The Rangers’ were not in a position to get promoted?”It is incumbent upon all clubs/companies to show good faith so is it good faith not to pay fines as they fall due to make it look to your support as if you are in conflict yet again. This is about accountability and accepting the rule of the games administrators. As spineless as they are this makes them look even weaker if that is at all possible! Once again there is an organisation not playing by the same rules as everyone else. They should be told two weeks to pay or either the fine increases or there is a ten point deduction and, if the delay continues, the points and/or fine increase. Of course we all know this will never happen so it will be interesting to see what happens the next time a club is fined and they say “take it out of our prize money at the end of the season!!”I think we all know what the answer will be. This really is a complete farce! Everyone knows they’re skint, the administrators know they’re skint, so they aren’t chased for the fine but allowed to strengthen their squad. Incompetence piled upon corruption, plied with financial ineptitude, and wrapped in arrogance. That is Scottish football in 2016.
    ____________________________

    Now I may well be completely wrong about this, but wasn’t it announced that the amount of the fine would be held back from ‘prize money’ one or two seasons ago?

    If so, why is it now being deducted from this season’s ‘prize’? Surely the SFA/SPFL didn’t relent previously and give TRFC their full whack! I mean, isn’t that the normal procedure when someone, or some entity, owes money to another entity that just happens to have money it would normally award to the recalcitrant person/entity?

    I’d suggest it is very likely that there has been a number of times that £250,000 could have made the difference between administration and TRFC seeing out the season unscathed!

    As I said, I may well be wrong, but if I’m not, it looks like another little helping hand was given to a new club that continually causes Scottish football a headache or two.

    View Comment
  41. Castofthousands


    CastofthousandsMarch 27, 2016 at 12:27
    “What would justice look like?”
    ————————-
    I’ve meandered over a few topics over the last couple of days and thought I would tie it up.
    Justice is redress for the loss created. The loss would roughly be :
    Lord Nimmo Smith Inquiry – Loss of credibility of the football authorities. Loss of faith by a significant portion of fans who feel that hard decisions have been avoided and that governance is not equitable. Loss by the supporters who were misled into believing that the entertainment they subscribed to was being administered on a fair basis.
    Facilitation of Rangers – Again I would venture that there has been loss of faith in sporting governance. The authorities might argue that extraordinary circumstances called for extraordinary remedies but this was not a bolt from the Blue (see what I did there). Trouble had been trundling down that track since 2009 and there was plenty of time to adjust to any new realities. Again the other member clubs must be concerned that the level of ‘facilitation’ provided to any particular club seems to be an arbitrary decision taken; who really knows quite where?
    UEFA Licensing 2011 – Not the authorities again. I’ll come across as all dissident and resentful. You really should be administering your premier tournaments with World Class diligence. You wouldn’t want to sully the reputation of such a prestigious brand; would you? Get yourself marginalised from European Football if you play around with that stuff too much; wont we?
    I really don’t know if I can go on but I feel I must.
    What Rangers debacle tells us about other things – from this very wide perspective the main losers were the Rangers supporters because they really weren’t being told what they were shelling out for. There is a wider loss to the credibility of the game if it is unable to stand up to the tide of commercialism.
    Thank God that’s over.
    Now for the remedy!
    Post LNS credibility recovery is a tricky one. There was a medieval king (French Henry II?) who was kept waiting outside a Papal palace, in the snow, dressed in little more than sackcloth, until it was judged that he had done suitable penance. I’m not sure why that comes to mind or who would be so scantily attired in this penitential scene of mine. However if you’re comfortable with sacrilege then expect martyrs.
    Facilitation – processes gone through in detail here and elsewhere should hopefully act as a template for what not to do if something similar should occur in the future; or at least the worst to be avoided. Its a sport. There should be some credible fairness running right through the thing.
    UEFA licensing – You can’t wind back the clock but there might yet be a reckoning on this point.
    What it tells us – Football administrators can easily get out their depth. They need to stay in the shallow end or call a life guard.
    So in summary, I’m calling for.

    An act of contrition.
    A statement on ethos of governance.
    A willingness to stand up and take the flack when and if it arrives.
    A bit more self awareness, post Rangers, of what hazards should be negotiated in the course of future events.

    View Comment
  42. John Clark


    ianagainMarch 31, 2016 at 19:56
    ‘..John,   I’m guessing you refer to this chaphttp://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/premier-league/emmanuel-eboue-ban-one-year-sunderland-arsenal-a6961066.html ‘
    _____
    The very same. There was a discusssion on Sportsound about the case, with a guest (the agent for young Tierney, I believe) not surprisingly saying ‘three cheers for the agent’, while  saying that there were certainly instances of managers ‘with vested interests’ being of particular assistance to certain agents with whom they worked in collusion.
    And, believe it or not, I heard Kenny say, ” It’s a dirty business these days, football.”
    Don’t we in Scotland know it, Kenny- and that  it’s dirtiest at the top.

    View Comment
  43. Nuclear Sheep


    Thanks Highlander for an excellent post @ 21:06 today.  I haven’t said much for a while, but Highlander moved me to tears and the keyboard.
    For the large majority of Scottish football fans, since Rangers’ death and the birth of Scottish football’s fairly level playing field, there has been a much greater interest in football.
    If The New Rangers FC come back and compete, while continuing to accrue unsustainable losses, then I think there will be a big reaction from the footballing public.  
    Then, I think they will leave in droves.

    View Comment
  44. John Clark


    HighlanderMarch 31, 2016 at 21:06
    ‘….. Stewart Regan recently met a highly respected member of the Scottish Football Monitor, in person, face to face. When asked what he would do if presented with incontrovertible evidence of cheating by Rangers, Regan replied “Nothing!”.
    _____
    And I’ll happily go in person to swear to the truth of that, Highlander.
    (A very good letter, if I may say so

    View Comment
  45. John Clark


    AllyjamboMarch 31, 2016 at 21:25
    ‘…Perhaps someone should ask Regan if the bill has crystalized yet and, if it has, why is there not a demand for immediate payment? ‘
    _______
    The SFA has the rather bizarre view that  the appearance of debt-collectors at a debtor’s business premises, waving a Warrant charging and empowering them to seize the  debtor’s assets in part payment of, say, a tax  debt, can be seen as no more than part of an amicable, protracted series of negotiations between parties as to whether there  is a debt at all!
    They deny that RFC was actually in debt to HMRC , insisting that ‘negotiations’ were continuing between HMRC and RFC.
    They( the SFA) probably now would claim that CG’s inheritors don’t actually owe them anything, because they haven’t actually sent them a bill: all that happened, they would say, was that a Judicial ( the use of the adjective lending a spurious ‘legality’ ) Panel fined them!And the debt won’t be debt until hell freezes over or the day on which a bill goes from the 6th Floor to Ibrox.
    There’s a kind of Brysonesque- ness ( = Alice-in-Wonderlandish) consistency in that line of (un)reasoning, don’t you think?
    Alternatively, they might have indeed been told that CG’s acceptance of ‘responsibility’ for the debt of an extinguished and virtually extinct club is not binding on the successor boards of that charlatan’s new club.( And, who knows, many a nod and wink of re-assurance to CG that is ‘agreement’ was just for PR purposes and would be quietly forgotten. Or, if not forgotten, certainly not acted upon. Or, if acted upon, certainly not at an ‘inconvenient’ time)
    See! That’s what bad faith in one matter exposes ‘Authorities’ to: one can end up simply not believing anything they say or do that is related to their original act of bad faith.

    View Comment
  46. Homunculus

    Homunculus


    AULDHEID
    MARCH 31, 2016 at 20:28

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

    I don’t think anyone will really be able to answer that until the legislation is at least in the draft / bill stage.

    It might be worth remembering however that these “loans” could always be converted to payments, the condition was that any tax / NI due be paid. Then it was no longer a loan and as such was not repayable. Bearing in mind the point was that they were never repayable anyway, hence the false, contrived nature of the “loan” fabrication.

    My guess is that where the money is recoverable from the employer (who put the money into the trust) then it will be recovered that way. However where it is not, or that is not appropriate (depending on the specific arrangement), then the money will be recovered from the beneficiary. I believe it will be as simple as saying “This is not a loan, it never was, tax is due”. Rest assured, if that happens and the taxpayer (or avoider if you will) does not pay the money then HMRC will move to enforce the debt and if necessary move for bankruptcy.

    As stated, I don’t think anyone really knows just now, until there is some sight of at least draft legislation. The above is simply my conjecture. It could be way off.

    View Comment
  47. Allyjambo

    Allyjambo


    I wonder if the rallying round of old Rangers legends will continue once the seriousness of their (potential) tax position sinks home! I also wonder if their ‘won on the field of play’ medals will seem quite so worthwhile should their tax advisors start telling them to make the best arrangements they can and to prepare for the worst!

    I suspect a few of those baubles might be hitting a wall not all that close to us in the near future 22 , for it’s not easy to continue to feel pleasure when the reality of things ‘won’ hits home, and the cost becomes apparent. What value loyalty when it has a cost, especially when the ‘loyalty’ was felt for a club no longer around to stand good on it’s contracted promises? Still, they probably assume that as their side letters were with ‘the club’, and (in their minds, apparently) it still exists…so no worries there then!

    View Comment
  48. jimbo

    jimbo


    “Oh what a tangled web we weave, When first we practise to deceive”

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  49. TheGamesABogey

    TheGamesABogey


    Sorry if its been covered RE EBTs – Is it not the case that as well as the employee saving on the NI and PAYE on these payments, the employer has also saved on their NI contributions on these payments as well?

    All the chatter on Twitter has been about the players being chased for their tax payments, but will RFC (IL) also be hit by a bill for their contribution as well, regardless of side letters.

    View Comment
  50. wottpi


    ALLYJAMBOAPRIL 1, 2016 at 00:33

    The tax expert contacted by the DR throws in the grenade re a get out for players and officials.

    Webber offered players and officials a ray of hope: “I think it would be more difficult for HMRC to pursue individuals of a company that has been liquidated for several years.”

    http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/former-rangers-stars-knew-were-7666604#ICID=sharebar_twitter#DXe9BXCStzFHrFMS.97

    So the escape route, for some individuals, may be the argument that the club they were contracted to is well and truly died!!! 
    The likes of Whittaker and Naismith knew it, perhaps others including the greatest ever Ranger and the current Clyde manager will now follow their lead.

    As others have said the current owners of the eternal entity may have to make a choice with regard to how to handle footballing debts, being that any agreements in side letters with players would appear to fall into that category .

    However given the £250k SPL fine seems to have stuck it looks like a sticky wicket could be faced in the future regardless of what they say.

    What chances of this all this financial mess blowing up again in a few years time just when T’Rangers have sorted themselves out and are back where they belong? 🙂 

    View Comment
  51. Homunculus

    Homunculus


    wottpiApril 1, 2016 at 08:37
    ===========================

    I tend to take the alternative view.

    The company is no longer there and someone is paying the tax. That would be you, you still exist and we know where you are. We can also take action against you.

    You have received a payment, tax is due on that payment, if you think it is due from the company rather than you then sue them. You can then try to get something from a creditors pot, good luck with that. That is not our problem it is yours.

    That may sound draconian, the impression I am getting is that it is supposed to be. These things are not just about collecting the outstanding tax, they are also about discouraging others from trying similar things.

    View Comment
  52. tangoed

    tangoed


    Regards the EBT discussion,if HMRC do go after the players,who do the players go after.

    Rangers are in liquidation,new club will deny entering into any of these contracts cos they are a new club DOH!.
    Could these players turn their attention to the SFA?,it’s not as if SFA employees were unaware of what rangers were upto
    ,Campbell Ogilvie,Andrew Dickson,Walter smith,Alex mcleish and probaly a few others as well all took part in these schemes
     and failed to alert their bosses as to what was taking place at ibrox,have these former and current employees left the SFA with a potentially huge liability?.

    View Comment
  53. oddjob

    oddjob


    In my very first post on this site, about three years ago, I suggested, that regardless of the outcome of the tax tribunal, the beneficiaries would be in a catch 22 situation.
    I based this on the premise that, should the EBTs be deemed as interest free loans, they would be classified as benefits in kind, and thus liable to tax on the deemed interest.
    I believe that the recent budget gives the said beneficiaries the option to repay the loan to alleviate the need to pay tax on the whole sum, and settle for the amount due on the deemed interest.
    I also repeat that, as with “normal” tax payers, the beneficiaries would have had to submit annual tax returns. To knowingly make a false declaration on these is a serious matter. Therefore, I believe HMRC will revisit those returns.
    Whether clubs are alive or dead will not be a factor in the pursuit of individuals.

    View Comment
  54. Reiver

    Reiver


     Scottish Professional Football League chiefs and Celtic have tried to block new laws that would give fans more influence in how clubs are run and, while the Scottish champions made their views public, league bosses asked the Scottish Government to keep theirs secret. (The Times)

     

    On the BBC Scottish gossip today.

    I wonder how this all fits in with the grand scheme of things?

    View Comment
  55. wottpi


    HOMUNCULUSAPRIL 1, 2016 at 08:57

    I also hold the view that the individual should be pursued and also thought long ago that the individuals involved would end up being subject to tax one way or another even if only some kind of ‘benefit in kind’ approach was taken by Hector. 

    However the thrust of my post is that, despite Webber saying the oldco may be first port of call, if the players and officials do get a knock from Hector their only get out for having to cough up appears to be to turn Judas, argue a big boy did it and that he is now well and truly died.

    Oh the irony.

    View Comment
  56. oddjob

    oddjob


    Wottpi,
    I agree. What comes out of the woodwork will be very interesting indeed !

    View Comment
  57. Reiver

    Reiver


    Tangoed April 1, 2016 at 08:49

    That article maybe gives us the answer to the money brought in from Hong Kong. It has been suggested elsewhere that the money was from a pot hidden from the the tax and legal authorities in South Africa. You would have to wonder why he should expose that stash just now risking the SA authorities chasing it. Your referenced article perhaps gives that answer. SARS and its related organisations would appear to have been neutered meaning that anyone previously of interest to them have no longer anything to fear.

    Interesting.

    View Comment
  58. Homunculus

    Homunculus


    tangoedApril 1, 2016 at 09:10

    —————————————-

    I can think of no reason why the SFA would be responsible for Rangers or Rangers’ players avoiding payment of tax which was due. Though I can see how some people might be looking for yet another reason for it being someone else’s fault.

    The club have been found guilty, by an independent tribunal, of hiding these payments from the SFA and has been fined for doing so.

    I think we really need to go back to the basic position. Rangers lied to the SFA (by omission) because they had no option. They were making contractual payments through an EBT which was at best tax avoidance. They could hardly then declare the same payments to the SFA without their whole scheme falling apart, as it has anyway. They deliberately cheated on tax and as a direct result lied to the SFA.

    This is a matter for the club and for the beneficiaries.

    View Comment
  59. wottpi


    ODDJOBAPRIL 1, 2016 at 10:14

    I’d qualify that by saying we have hoped many things would come out in the wash before and been let down!

    View Comment
  60. Homunculus

    Homunculus


    wottpiApril 1, 2016 at 10:06
    =========================

    They can argue what they want. If the new legislation says they are due the tax then they are due it.

    HMRC are not the SFA, UEFA or some ridiculous tribunal set up with a specific conclusion in mind at the outset. Rangers, their players and other employees in receipt of EBT payments are only a tiny part of what is literally billions of pounds to be recovered. They will get swept up with the rest.

    View Comment
  61. wottpi


    I note that Warbs is now in danger of becoming the expert in all fields like his predecessor McCoist and willing to spout pish at every opportunity our joyful hacks give him.

    Following on from being and expert in all things plastic he is now being portrayed as a master groundskeeper that world famous clubs would clearly love to have on their staff.

    How about this for a way forward for any manager.

    Q. What do you think of the quality/condition of the pitch?
    A. Don’t care, Pitches vary in quality from ground to ground and are dependent on the weather and the time of year. You have to play on what you are given. We try to prepare the best way possible for all games. We train our players in a manner whereby we would hope they have the skills and reactions to be able to react in the appropriate manner should they encounter an unexpected bounce or a pass moving quicker than originally anticipated. If, as professional footballers, they can’t deal with those types of issues then they would be better off playing snooker.

    View Comment
  62. oddjob

    oddjob


    Wottpi @ 1034
    True. This time though, they have an option to repay the loan, and still have to account for tax on a lesser amount, or cough up on the full amount.
    My view is any loan repayments should/would be collared by BDO for the creditors pot, and HMRC are one of the main creditors.
    There’s an old saying “money talks”.

    View Comment
  63. coineanachantaighe


    What action will the SFA take on this?
    http://ptfc.co.uk/news/2015-2016/april_2016/kingsley_in_the_dog_house_over_mascot_tweet

    They have until 12 noon to decide apparently.

    View Comment
  64. Reiver

    Reiver


    Oddjob
    “There’s an old saying “money talks”.”

    Aye, too true, I regularly hear the pound coin in my pocket saying “I’m lonely”

    View Comment
  65. Homunculus

    Homunculus


    wottpiApril 1, 2016 at 10:06
    =========================

    Any “loans”, if it is treated that way, are nothing to do with BDO.

    The payments out of Rangers (IL) were just that, payments, they were not loans and were not refundable. That part has never been in question as far as I am aware.

    View Comment
  66. Allyjambo

    Allyjambo


    coineanachantaigheApril 1, 2016 at 10:54  
    What action will the SFA take on this?http://ptfc.co.uk/news/2015-2016/april_2016/kingsley_in_the_dog_house_over_mascot_tweet
    They have until 12 noon to decide apparently.
    ___________________________

    We are all Kingsley 02

    View Comment
  67. jimbo

    jimbo


    je suis Kingsley 02

    View Comment
  68. Allyjambo

    Allyjambo


    HomunculusApril 1, 2016 at 11:06

    Exactly, they were either ‘loans’, or not ‘loans’. If the BDO appeal fails, then they were not ‘loans’, however, if the BDO appeal is successful, then it is possible that the players will be in the clear and owe no tax – unless the government/treasury can come up with something else, but I suspect that would be much more difficult for them to introduce the necessary legislation.

    Rangers, due to it’s death, has nothing to fear, TRFC might only have difficulty if any ex-players turn up at the Ibrox front door waving side letters that clearly state that ‘Rangers Football Club’ has indemnified them for any tax due! TRFC will owe no money, whatever happens, they just might have to find some double talk to cover ‘we are the same club, oh no we’re not…’

    I also wonder if all ‘foreign’ players will be in the clear, or if EC legislation/reciprocal tax arrangements might mean many of them will have to stump up. Could be a few running to their country’s MSM with stories about how they were stiffed by RFC, and that TRFC is not RFC! They might also run to the SMSM, but will then discover that, while the SMSM just loves their ‘Rangers are wonderful’ stories, they will be blanked when it comes to anything hinting at ‘the truth’!

    View Comment
  69. redlichtie


    I don’t know if it could happen but let’s just say that the tax, NI and penalties on an EBT ‘loan’ are greater than paying back the loan and taking a smaller hit on the ‘benefit’.

    I assume that the ‘loan’ is then repaid to the trustees in the Isle of Man or wherever.

    So what would happen next? Does the money sit orphaned in the IoM? Is there some kind of ‘repatriation’ clause (never intended to be used of course) in the documentation between RFC(IL) and the trustees?

    If so does the money then go into the BDO creditors’ pot?

    And just who did indemnify players in these side letters? Does the claim trail lead back to BDO’s pot of money as being what’s left of RFC(IL)?

    Or is the ethereal ‘club’ somehow on the hook? I suspect not but, hey, you never know in this soap opera.

    Scottish Football needs a strong Arbroath.

    View Comment
  70. tangoed

    tangoed


    HOMUNCULUSAPRIL 1, 2016 at 10:32 
    tangoedApril 1, 2016 at 09:10
    —————————————-
    I can think of no reason why the SFA would be responsible for Rangers or Rangers’ players avoiding payment of tax which was due. Though I can see how some people might be looking for yet another reason for it being someone else’s fault.
    The club have been found guilty, by an independent tribunal, of hiding these payments from the SFA and has been fined for doing so.
    ————————————————————————————————
    I can think of 2 reasons why the SFA should be held responsible for allowing a club a 15 year spree of tax evasion and avoidence.Campbell Ogilvie and Andrew Dickson were both employees of the SFA,so the SFA did know what was going on because 2 of their employees took part in these schemes…

    The players might get their just desserts from HMRC,i’m not trying to make excuses for them,if these guys get forced to pay hefty tax bills,then they themselves will be looking to get their money back,and having been lied to by SFA employees (CO n AD) about the legality of the tax schemes,then would the players not find that the SFA would be fair game in trying to recoup some of their losses.

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  71. Jingso.Jimsie

    Jingso.Jimsie


    ODDJOB

    APRIL 1, 2016 at 10:47 

    My view is any loan repayments should/would be collared by BDO for the creditors pot, and HMRC are one of the main creditors.———————————–

    …but, but, but, the EBT funds were nominally controlled by ‘arms-length’ Murray Group companies & trusts, not RFC2012 (IL). 

    I wrote a while back that the liquidators of the Murray Group companies should be looking at the loan-book. It wasn’t well received, I seem to remember.

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  72. Allyjambo

    Allyjambo


    I think, that if the BDO appeal fails, there will be no get out by repaying the ‘loans’. The tax man will want every penny in tax regardless of what the player/beneficiary does. You can’t get out of paying tax by repaying a loan that isn’t, and never was, a loan. In the same way that a limited company calling itself a ‘football club’ doesn’t mean it is legally a ‘club’, an EBT payment isn’t a loan just because it calls itself ‘a loan’!

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  73. woodstein

    woodstein


    coineanachantaighe
     
     

    Friday 1st April 2016 at 08:00
    They have until 12 noon to decide apparently.

    03

     

    View Comment

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