On Grounds for Judicial Review


While the proposed Judicial Review of the LNS decision is to be welcomed it is a position that is fraught with legal difficulties such as the capacity to raise the proceedings, potential time bars and all sorts of other arguments.

It would be complete folly to base an argument here solely upon a judicial review of LNS as that would only leave one string to the bow.

Further, take the stated opinion or Mr Rod McKenzie that LNS only dealt with the issue of Player Registrations within the SPL/SPFL — and nothing else.

Any analysis of what is meant by that statement (and others made by Neil Doncaster) leads to the conclusion that there are other matters to be considered which were outwith the tight and narrow remit handed to LNS by the SPFL.

For me, the clearest consideration is this.

1. Craig Whyte has already been personally convicted by the SFA for deliberately failing to pay taxes as and when they fall due under article 5.1 of the SFA rules.

2. No such charge has ever been levied against RFC — just against their CEO.

3. Not only did RFC fail to pay taxes as and when they became due under Whyte’s watch, they deliberately failed to pay taxes for a 13 year period under the stewardship of Sir David Murray. They did this by deliberately entering into two unlawful tax aggressive tax avoidance schemes which even their advisers warned them could only be undertaken at considerable risk to the club as the schemes were never guaranteed to be successful.

4. Those schemes were entered into so that the club could buy players they would otherwise not have afforded.

5. In furtherance of those schemes, RFC chose to deliberately withhold the full details of their contractual arrangements with both players and managers from both the SFA and the SPL when submitting their applications to play under licence and in terms of the rules of both organisations.

6. In each of the years concerned, RFC had to apply for both domestic and European Licences to play football, and it is the granting of these licences which allows any football club to play in structured competition organised under the auspices of, or with the approval of, the SFA or UEFA.

7. Each and every licence application as submitted to the SFA in the knowledge that key financial and contractual information had been excluded in furtherance of tax avoidance purposes, and tax, which has since been declared to be legitimately due and payable from 1999 onwards, was unpaid and remains unpaid.

8. The above processes and procedures are no different, and indeed are considerably worse, breaches of article 5.1 under which Whyte was personally convicted and fined.

9. Further, as part of the HMRC investigations into the use of unlawful tax schemes, RFC deliberately lied to HMRC, SFA and SPL about the existence of side letters and other contractual documentation. This is particularly so in relation to the annual application for a playing licence.

On 20th May 2011, HMRC, in relation to one of the tax schemes, wrote to RFC and accused the club of “deliberate and fraudulent” behaviour in relation to the continued submission of false PAYE and NIC returns over a period of years.

10. It, therefore, follows that each and every application for a football licence made by RFC to the SFA from 2000 onwards (at least) was based on falsified financial, contractual and tax information and was designed to mislead the SFA with a view to persuading them to grant a licence on misrepresented grounds.

11. Not only is the above a breach of article 5.1 of the SFA handbook, but any licence obtained by misrepresentation has not been validly obtained as it has been obtained by way of false representation and deception.

12. It is a pre-requisite of entry into any league competition that the participating club holds a valid licence to play football.

13. In the event that a club did not or should not have held/hold a valid licence to play, that same club is not free to enter structured competition or register players to participate in such competition. It also follows that any declaration of a result of 0-3 in relation to any particular game as a result of a rule breach (such as fielding an ineligible player) is of no consequence because the club concerned was not eligible to participate at all.

14. The Court of Arbitration for Sport has already been invited by UEFA to hold that any application for a licence or any other compliance submission, which is devoid of all necessary financial and contractual information should be treated as null and void and as never having been received.

15. The same Court has also held that any title, championship, award, record, reward or other benefit which has been gained as a result of an improper or prohibited process should not be allowed to stand, the records of the award etc should be expunged and the sporting records corrected accordingly.

None of the above is dependent on a successful review of LNS but goes hand in hand with that process.

In the forthcoming review of Scottish Football recently announced by the SPFL, in conjunction with the SFA, all of the above should be under consideration.

LNS, under review, may determine that the players were in fact not eligible, but much more fundamental is the fact that there are clear facts and circumstances which should mean that the club itself was never eligible in terms of established legal jurisprudence.

As had been pointed out by Rod McKenzie, none of this has been considered by the SPFL as all matters concerning a licence are solely under the jurisdiction of the SFA.

Thus far, the SFA have taken no action against RFC or any of its officials as a result of the clubs involvement in, and cover up of, the Big Tax Case or the Wee Tax Case – both of which will be the subject of the forthcoming review demanded by Celtic and others.


  1.  Gordon Smith makes the utterly fatuous observation that there was ‘no sporting advantage’ offered by the misuse of EBTs  because in fact, he says,that was when the premier league was at its most competitive!
    And the gombeen man  English (the Irishman) says not a word about the deliberate intention to deceive us all as being sports cheating at its worst.
    Smith is probably the more stupid of the two and with the most to be defensive about.
    English should  know,cannot not know, better, but craps it.

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  2. Excellent analysis by BRTH – and food for thought. Also a good reason to consider options carefully and eschew any knee-jerk reaction to the SFA/SPFL response to the Supreme Court decision.

    Act in haste and all that

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  3. I haven’t spoken with anybody who believes any Regan or Doncaster review will ever be clean.

    They don’t seem to realise that this will not go away for the reasons you outline above and more.

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  4. It is difficult to reject the idea, in light of the now transparent breaches of the Law of the Land and of Football, that should the football authorities and ALL clubs not seek to cleanse the game of the practices that facilitated the misdemeanors, that a club, who feel that they are the main victims, should seek fresh pastures.
    (Sorry for the long sentence, but I couldn’t get off it!)
    Sorry also for being parochial, but, at the outset, I claimed that my club, Celtic, had only two options open to them, if they were not going to be seen as complicit in events and condoning them, much like an innocent, deceived spouse who continues to live with the deceiver.
    Those options were to relocate to another League, if any would have them,like Derry City,
    Shut the shop and say that the cheats have won, like Belfast Celtic.
    Unless the SFA/SPFL are called to account, to continue to be a member club is condoning the actions by default.
    I may add that neither of my options are feasible, therefore unless meaningful change is effected, then all clubs will be complicit in condoning the actions of the governing bodies.

    Trish, you’ve got mail.

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  5. It might be useful reposting the following about what a JR requires from the previous SFM blog as the relevant SFA article mentioned in lead blog is posted in full and there is a connection.

    What is not posted in the above is that CW was charged with bringing the game into disrepute and one of the charges brought before a Judicial Panel centred around non payment of tax specifically PAYE /VAT but surprisingly not the wtc tax! The JP’s Judgement was published in April 2012 a month after the investigation into RFC’s nor registration of side letters began

    It stretches credulity way beyond breaking point that the SFA were not aware in 2012 about the 20th May letter that deals with the wtc narrative.

    The SFA were ambiguous about knowledge of it in 2011 in a letter to Res12 lawyers in 2015/6 and failed to clear the ambiguity when asked by the Tax Justice Network late last year.

    That letter btw should have been provided to SFA in May 2011 under UEFA FFP Article 56 (c).

    The point about it though is that (as is mentioned in the blog) it accuses RFC as a club of fraudulent or negligent  behaviour and as the blog says RFC have never had to face any football charges of dishonesty.

    There are no specific rules about dishonesty but there is a sub para under Article 5.1 that comes nearest but significantly it too was missing from the Judicial Panel charges. It is 5.1.f in bold below but it says

    (f) (SFA members will) behave towards the Scottish FA and other members with the utmost good faith.

    The full JP notes can be read at 

    There is also a case the 5.1 a) was breached in the context of the main blog.

    The reason LNS was unacceptable to most supporters was it never tackled RFC’s behaviour as a club when evidence of dishonesty abounds including the UEFA licence in 2011.

    This is where the crunch comes from BRTH’s blog, in the licensing world those applying are expected to be honest, this principle is upheld by UEFA in the case taken to CAS mentioned in the blog (although CAS only ruled on overdue payables that demonstrated that RFC did have an overdue payable at 31 March 2011, nevertheless UEFA were clear in what the consequences of dishonesty are.

    None of this has been addressed by THE SFA who passed the buck to the SPL who narrowed the charges down to an administration failures and if that is not a reason to seek a JR based on what justifies one below, what is?

    Original Point from CQN 
    XX on 2nd August 2017 10:29 am said
    Different Counsel can reach different conclusions depending on- what information has been provided to them; what they have been asked to consider, and there own interpretation of the law/ precedent.
    The opinion will remain privileged unless privilege is waived.
    We do not know what body(ies) is(are) the subject of a potential JR- whether it is a JR of the SFA/SPL or the LNS commission.
    However basic principles dictate that the findings of LNS could be quashed if, for example, same considered irrelevant or incorrect material or knowingly ignored relevant material. Similarly if the decision was one reached which no reasonable tribunal could have reached based on the evidence sane may be liable to JR.
    Response from YY
    I think based on the SPFL response to a journo regarding the inclusion or exclusion of the wee tax case in the LNS Commission, that a matter considered irrelevant and so not properly examined was excluded. It was not just the lawfulness of the ebts that was left out but the omission of actual dishonesty, that was obvious from Rangers accepting, on QC advice , that RFC were liable to pay the tax owed under the DOS (wtc) scheme, the situation where they lied to HMRC about holding side letters for two players whilst at the same time (in Apr 2005 ) having 16 players on the books and another 13 who had left, all with side letters at the time of enquiry.
    In the very act of passing the buck to the SPL to investigate the SFA avoided any charge under
    Article 5
    5. Obligations and Duties of Members
    5.1 All members shall:-
    (a) observe the principles of loyalty, integrity and sportsmanship in accordance with the rules of fair play
    (b) be subject to and shall comply with:-
    (i) these Articles;
    (ii) the Judicial Panel Protocol;
    (iii) the Challenge Cup Competition Rules;
    (iv) the Registration Procedures;
    (v) International Match Calendar;
    (vi) Club Licensing Procedures; and
    (vii) any statutes, regulations, directives, codes, decisions promulgated by the Board, the Professional Game Board, the Non-Professional Game Board, the Judicial Panel, a Committee or sub-committee, FIFA, UEFA or the Court of Arbitration for Sport;
    (c) recognise and submit to the jurisdiction of the Court of Arbitration for Sport as specified in the relevant provisions of the FIFA Statutes and the UEFA Statutes;
    (d) respect the Laws of the Game;
    (e) refrain from engaging in any activity, practice or conduct which would constitute an offence under sections 1, 2 or 6 of the Bribery Act 2010; and
    (f) behave towards the Scottish FA and other members with the utmost good faith.
    Specifically a) and particularly f).
    It has always bemused me why the Judicial Panel charged CW of bringing the game into disrepute for a number of reasons including non payment of PAYE and VAT but not non payment and failure to meet his undertaking to pay the wtc bill.
    Further in the JP charge sheet Art 5.1 a gets a mention amongst a list but 5.1.a)and f) do not appear in the actual charges themselves.
    What this means is that CW was found guilty by the JP but Rangers as a club and SFA member have never been charged with breaches of 5.1a and f.
    What the wtc shows is evidence of dishonesty, but it is but one example of which Res12 evidence is so full there is even a map of dishonesty which would suggest to a criminal court that there was
    ” previous” (as in behaviour.)
    It is because dishonesty is denied, in fact LNS says there was no question of dishonesty, personal or corporate, regarding registration, in spite of it never been asked, that the attempts to put the matter to bed (which is what LNS appears to be an attempt at, have failed. The proper charge has been avoided but then again how could you allow any club with office bearers carrying that reputation into Scottish football, certainly without proper controls on it?
    Ooops they just did.
    XX said
    The SFA or SPL would arguably be liable to JR if they deliberately stymied LNS or were procedurally incorrect in establishing LNS or acted wholly unreasonably.
    YY replied
    See my first comment. Although it was an SPL Commission that was no excuse to avoid SFA Articles. Indeed in recent interviews that has been the SPFL defence – as in that was not our job.
    XX Said
    I should also add that the JR court would also look to whether any alternative remedy was open to the Applicant. I don’t know if UEFA or FIFA or CAS may have been approached.
    YY replied
    It was my view from the off that the SFA should have been the commissioners (it was their registration witness that swung things) and CAS the court of appeal.
    I don’t know why they pay thousands for lawyers – we just made the case fur nuthin!

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  6. So far Celtic are the only club to respond since the Supreme Court decision. Surely they can engage a QC, or QC’s to review the advice given by the SPFL QC and make the results public. I know such an exercise would not come cheaply but Celtic could well afford it. 

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  7. BBC Sport Scotland wheeling out and allowing cheats to voice an opinion and disrespecting every other team in the SPL. I love when people hit out with statements similar to shite like i would have played for beer money. 

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  8. BIGBOAB1916AUGUST 6, 2017 at 19:42 
    BBC Sport Scotland wheeling out and allowing cheats to voice an opinion and disrespecting every other team in the SPL. I love when people hit out with statements similar to shite like i would have played for beer money. 

    Neither will it end there. They have EBT recipients as pundits. They appear to have let Gordon Smith back in. The same Gordon Smith who was on the board at Rangers when millions were withheld in PAYE and N.I contributions. Just how bad would it be if Rangers actually spoke to BBC Scotland, when they are as beholden as they are even when they are banned from Ibrox!

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  9. Cluster OneAugust 6, 2017 at 18:23      i 2 Votes 
    AULDHEIDAUGUST 6, 2017 at 17:32https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6uWzxhblAt9UkNvbkxocFUtbFU/view?usp=sharing ———————-Where any of these fines or sanctions for breaches of said rules by Rangers fc and breaches of said rules by Mr Craig Whyte ever imposed or collected?
    There is a bit of confusion because RFC were subject to two fines.
    The Judicial Panel issued a £160,000 fine on RFC (IA) in April 2012 with 12 months to pay for
    (2) Disciplinary Rule 2 (By failing to procure that one of Rangers FC’s officials, namely Craig Whyte, Director, acted in accordance with Disciplinary Rule 1 by failing to disclose to the Scottish FA his said disqualification); £10,000
    (3)Disciplinary Rule 14 (By suffering an insolvency event on 14th February 2012); £50,000
    (4) Disciplinary Rule 66 (Bringing the game into disrepute: by failing to disclose, or by failing to procure the disclosure, to the Scottish FA of the said disqualification of Craig Whyte; by failing to comply with the rules of the PLUS Stock Exchange by failing to disclose to PLUS Stock Exchange the said disqualification of Craig Whyte; by failing to lodge Annual Accounts by 31st December 2011, pursuant to Section 447 of the Companies Act 2006; by failing to hold an Annual General Meeting by 1stJanuary 2012, pursuant to Section 336 of the Companies Act 2006; by the non-payment to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs of Pay As You Earn tax payments and National Insurance Contributions for employees of Rangers FC and Value Added Tax; and by failing to pay to Dunfermline AFC by 21stFebruary 2012, monies due to them for the Scottish Premier League match played on 11th February 2012, pursuant to RuleC14.5 of the Rules of the Scottish Premier League); £100,000
    There were a couple of more breaches for which a censure was issued.
    They also fined Craig Whyte £200,000 for bringing the game into disrepute.
    The latter was never paid.
    What was paid under the 5 Way was the £250,000 fine handed out by LNS for not registering side letters. That was eventually paid after appeal
    by withholding broadcasting money that TRFC would have otherwise have received. Saved them ponying up as well.
    The 5 Way also required the £160,000 to be paid. viz:
    2.5.3 Sevco will make payment to the SFA of the aggregate of (i) the fine of £10,000 imposed on RFC for the breach of Rule 2 of the JP Protocol; (ii) the fine of £50,000 imposed on RFC for the breach of Rule 14 of the JP Protocol; (iii) the fine of £100,000 imposed on RFC for the breach of Rule 66 of the JP Protocol; and (iv) the fine of £5,000 imposed on RFC for breach of Rule 73 of the JP Protocol, and shall pay the costs incurred by the SFA in relation to the Judicial Review in the sum of £31,063.40; the total sum to be paid to the SFA pursuant to this Clause 2.5.3 will be £196,063.40;
    but whilst there is a public record that the LNS fine was paid there is nothing about payment of thr £160000 fine. If it was similarly paid from other sums due to TRFC it would not appear in their accounts and possibly only the SFA will know if it has been paid.
    Or an SFM reader might know 🙂  

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  10. Cluster OneAugust 6, 2017 at 22:00   Rate This 
    AULDHEIDAUGUST 6, 2017 at 21:12 Thanks for clarification. There was a lot to read through in https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6uWzxhblAt9UkNvbkxocFUtbFU/view?usp=sharing  And i just could not see any part were it said fines paid.I know the LNS fine was eventually withheld from prize money from the ibrox club. The other fines. did i read correctly if not paid within 30 days an increase of 4% until paid?
    It said that but an appeal was made, subsequently rejected and its not clear if they let CG off with the interest.

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  11. AuldheidAugust 6, 2017 at 21:12
    ‘…by withholding broadcasting money that TRFC would have otherwise have received. Saved them ponying up as well.’
    Ah, yes, of course!

    Some of the  thirty pieces of silver, to get which  our Football Governance people sold the integrity of our Sport!

    “Never mind any other creditors, Charles, just pay your football debts and we’ll see you all right . We will create  the Big Lie.We know we can rely on the SMSM ( and especially BBC Radio Scotland) to support  us might and main in propagating that Big Lie as the New Truth.”

    Metaphorically speaking ( but only by a small margin) I wish those prostitutes of truth and honour would do what their exemplar did – go hang themselves from the highest flagstaff at Hampden!

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  12. Auldheid August 6, 2017 at 21:12
    Or an SFM reader might know  
    I suspect that it was probably paid.  RIFC’s 2013 accounts show a non recurring item “Repayment of RFC 2012 plc football debt” of £2.721m which appears to have been paid during that financial year.  It also shows a further entry “Football club creditors of RFC 2012 plc taken on by the Group of £251,000 are included within other creditors”. I’d imagine that the £251k relates to the LNS fine.

    Duff & Phelps creditors report of 10 July 2012 acknowledges the £160k fine and that it must be paid within 12 months.

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  13. Cluster OneAugust 6, 2017 at 22:14
    ‘….If this was never paid does this not bring the 5 way into disrepute.’
    The 5-Way agreement was a disgustingly dishonest capitulation to  a bullying charlatan in order to ‘save’ the most consistently, over a  long number of years, cheating  club( probably) in the whole recorded history of world football!

    If the wretches who manufactured it expected any of the other parties to it to behave honourably and adhere to its terms, more fool they.

    And more obviously are they left in that wasteland in which  those who lie unsuccessfully find themselves .

    They not only lose their entitlement to ordinary respect but ,losing out  to their ‘partners’ in deceit,they are objects of scorn in their failure to be  ‘competent’ in their badness! 

    CG is alleged to have remarked that he had put one over on CW in the Sevco 5088/SevcoScotland matter. ( Anyone seen the deed of novation,by the way?19)

    He certainly made absolute mince of our Football Governance people!

    And they will have to answer for that, or go hang themselves.

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  14. So Mols is just another in a line of players who would have played for ‘petrol money’ or similar.

    Of course what is trying to say is if a deal had been offered, even on lesser cash, he would probably have taken it.

    If we accept this as the truth then why was SDM needing to run a tax avoidance scheme to help save money the club when all these talented players were apparently ready to stroll up to Ibrox just for the sheer joy of pulling on a blue shirt?

    Was he duped by all these none too bright footballers and their agents?

    It is of course a load of cobblers and shame on anyone allowing such pish to be uttered in the public domain without a challenge.

    Other than players on the way down in terms of their abilities or at the end of their career with a good deal of cash in the bank will someone take a drop in wages or play for peanuts.

    Given the shelf life of a pro footballer anyone half decent (and their agent) is going to be looking for the best deal possible. It has always been thus even when some of the real legends of the Scottish game were getting little more than their petrol money – or even bus fares!!.

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  15. Just on Gordon Smith.  If not done already if some of you twitterati could tweetypie Tom English and ask if he didn’t verbally savage Gordon Smith on radio out of shere sympathy?  I was genuinely embarrassed for the man.

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  16. SmugasAugust 6, 2017 at 23:48
    ‘…could tweetypie Tom English and ask if he didn’t verbally savage Gordon Smith on radio out of shere sympathy?’
    Sadly, the evidence is that your man Tom is in the camp of the ‘same club’ ers, and just wishes that we should all ignore and ‘move on ‘ from, and accept meekly the fact that you and I have been lied to by our Football Authorities.

    It is no part of a proper journalist’s job to be ‘sympathetic’ to false propaganda.
    English has a duty ( now that he’s a ‘BBC’ man, Ha!) to speak the truth.

    He should have pointed out to Smith  that the sporting offence, the football business offence, was the deliberate intention by SDM to hide , against the Articles of Association, the truth about the payments he was making to his players.

    That’s the bloody thing!

    The bast..d Murray intended to cheat his fellow clubs, and the supporters of those other clubs.

    The SFA did so as well.And the SPFL? What can we say about them?

    And English lends himself open to the worst charge that can be levelled against a ‘journalist’.

    Who used the word ‘complicity’?

    Bad, and very bad, cess to the lot of them.

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  17. Based on what we have observed over the last 5+ years, and continuing today…
    The SMSM is stupid.
    The so called sports journalists continue to look the other way, and copy / paste the p!sh handed to them by Jabba, and interviews are seriously lacking in questions.
    That’s the hacks’ choice.
    Do they never consider that the quality of their output might be directly correlated to their newspaper sales falling off a cliff?
    They are a disgrace to their profession, and too thick / cowardly to realise that printing the truth could actually boost their sales.
    The sooner the likes of Keef, English, Spiers et al disappear from public the better.
    I get more honest updates from the Internet Bampots.

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  18. Re Tom English and Michael Mols. I read a Twitter exchange where he claims BBC have represented ‘both sides’ in the title stripping debate. Personally I think that’s nonsense, but he makes it sound like an entrenched argument where both sides should concede some ground, Wouldn’t that mean that both sides would have to be guilty of wrongdoing, when there is only one guilty party who have been, and still are, appeased by the authorities and media alike?

    So there you have it folks. For your licence fee a journalist is flown to Amsterdam to provide a completely unchallenged platform for a tax cheat to spout unsubstantiated nonsense, which could have been lifted straight from Rangers TV.  No doubt on Sportsound tonight other tax cheats who have pocketed the money that should have gone to schools, hospitals and the armed forces will also be handed a publicly funded platform. 

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  19. It is so good to read so many posters and, of course, BRTH, remind us that we are trying to do here is to ensure that our social and legal mechanisms are used for keeping us civilised, just and honest. Lies are deployed to give organisations and individuals an unfair advantage in their dealings with others. All of actions of the SFA, SPFL,  Murray, Whyte, Green, King, SMSM, BBC and the supremacist bigots in our establishment etc have lied consistently over the duration of this saga, solely to give the Ibrox entities an undeserved advantage in its dealings with others. Thankfully, they are not even very good liars, since their collective memory is pragmatic, utilitarian and inconsistent and makes weak everything they say.
    The SMSM in particular should be vehemently castigated for what they have offered up, simply because it is so apparent that they are defending obvious lies, through their deploying of pea-brained sycophants and headlight-startled EBT rabbits, to propagate the continuity myth.
    Twenty-five centuries ago, in one of his mind-boggling treatises on ethics, Aristotle reminded us that we do not function well as a a community when we do not place honouring truth, even above honouring friends. The lies and deceit of all of the groups mentioned above will eventually be exposed to the daylight and we cannot allow it to be otherwise, for it is these condoned lies and deceptions that have created this sorry state of affairs. The people who have done this should have no place of prominence or credibility in our sport and should be shunned for what they have done.  
    At times, it does not appear that all the good efforts of the bloggers, posters et al, do not achieve a great deal. Nothing could be further from the truth these days, because the repository of truth lies far more with us, than it does with the self-serving groups who push lies and deceit.
    Many thanks to all here who contribute so much to getting us where we would like to be…… a place where truth, integrity and decency override privilege and unfair advantage.

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  20. I don’t dispute any of what you say on the wider issues folks.  But I take particular umbrage when he announces in all serious Ex SFA Presidential tones that 1/ there was no sporting advantage (I am assuming he concedes a 50m financial advantage but I shouldn’t take anything for granted) 2/ there was sporting competition from the north east when he played that was somehow “less exciting” but then 3/ “the money side” allowed Celtic and Rangers to pull away and nobody thinks to suggest he’s just directly contradicted himself.  And I include rampant Don Richard Gordon in that.

    his blinkers hidden well beneath an outward veneer of breathtaking incompetence (for such a role) make him as big a place man as Ogilvie.  Someone who could do the three monkeys with only two hands!

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  21. UT H @ 07.17 7 Aug 2017 

    Re the BBC Radio Scotland – I listened to 10 mins of a BBC Sportsound yesterday hosted by Tam Cowan & featuring Alex Rae (EBT £595K) & the Son of the Manse musing over managerial positions in Scottish football – Rae was bemoaning his luck in getting the sack from St Mirren & basically selling himself for any job to get back in the game – at one stage he was encouraged (on air) to phone Alex McCleish by the SoM to establish whether McLeish (EBT £2.5m) would be interested in the Hearts job .

    What is it about the BBC & its fixation with getting the views of ex Ibrox hasbeens & utilising tax payers money on listening to tax cheats bemoaning their luck ? As for sending someone to Amsterdam to get the view of Mols – really !

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  22. The time has come to form a conclave of the best minds in Scottish football who seek integrity in Scottish football. Forgive me if I miss someone out but since the tragic and untimely death of Paul McConnell I’d propose a brains trust of (in no particular order) Phil McG, James Forrest, Auldheid, JohnJames, BRTH ,The Mensch and RTC et al to brief the QC employed by Celtic . We will only get one chance to find justice and it has to be awesome. 

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  23. I don’t know what it is that prompted a twitter exchange between Paul Larkin and Chris McLaughlin, but it would appear that it has become known, somehow, that Ann Budge is keen to review the EBT scam. The following, consecutive, tweets are from the exchange, and seem to suggest that McLaughlin agrees with Paul Larkin that Ann Budge is hoping for/seeking a review of the EBTs (LNS?). I cannot express how much I hope this is true, not just that it might come about, but, more importantly on a personal level, that the chairperson of my club should look to do the honourable thing in the name of Hearts.

    Yeah. Here’s an example. When you interviewed Ann Budge you knew she wanted a new inquiry into the EBT years. Yet that wasn’t on TV.

    No Paul, I didn’t know that. You need to stop assuming things then running with your own narrative.

    I don’t assume it. I got told that by the person you called and who asked you what the feeling was among other spfl CEO’s/owners.

    I’d suggest you ask that person again. I was not aware of AB desire for a review before I interviewed her. 100% fact.

    I’ve just taken another look at the exchange, and McLaughlin appears to have moved from a position of being aware (at least) of Ann Budge’s wish for a review, to not knowing anything about it! ‘Not knowing’ seems to be a default position of all ‘Rangers’ protectors!

    For those interested, here is a link to the initial tweet from Paul Larkin:


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    AUGUST 7, 2017 at 09:42

    I realise you post there and fair enough but JohnJames and The Mensch, you really cannot be serious in that.

    Ignoring the fact that it is almost certainly the same person, do you genuinely think that either of these names gives any type of credibility to the process. A plagiarist who has published all sorts of filth on a private blog which he charges people to reply to. Who regularly deletes thing which he gets totally wrong. Who deleted his entire archive so that he could feed back the bits that he got right and which weren’t grossly offensive. Who has attacked other bloggers who are of a different opinion to him, who has often attacked this blog and the people here. 

    It is difficult to think of a worse person to be involved in such a process. 

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  25. Fisiani,

    Celtic aren’t employing a QC . The fans are. 

    Celtic have direct access , as a member of both the SFA and the SPFL. They have already succeeded in a committment from the SPFL to a wide ranging enquiry . We await the terms of reference of that enquiry. However it will not include the potential to set aside the LNS enquiry, according to Rod McKenzie

    Hence the need for the fans to ask a court to do so.The basis is LNS was not provided with relevent evidence of use of unlawful or irregular tax schemes . LNS , by his own words , said he proceeded on the basis that these schemes were lawful. He also stated that the SPL had rules to prevent breaches of Sporting Integrity and he found Rangers guilty of that , but not in a manner that provided Sporting Advantage.

    Based on what was hidden from LNS plus what has been ruled on by the Supreme Court , that conclusion by LNS looks fundamentally flawed

    The SFA have failed completely in their role as protector of the game. I have no doubt whatsever that Celtic want fundamental change there. However at this stage the fans don’t have a specific decision that the SFA have made , in regards to the Sporting Advantage , that was the subject of an independent panel, and therefore open to a JR request 
    I agree that the non decisions described above by BRTH should be the subject and included in an SFA commisioned fully independent review . However as yet they have decided a 3 monkeys approach is all we are getting . Lets see if Celtic get enough support from other clubs on this one 

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  26. I know some people on here don’t like JohnJames so apologies in advance.
    I found the comment by Grutto interesting.  Mods, do what you want with this.

    Don’t know how to make it blue and instantly accessible!!
    Oops it did it itself!!

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  27. Johnjames might have some kind of difficulty with SFM. But that did not stop him from citing and pasting almost the the entirety of this blog…and doubtless to demand payment for doing that

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  28. JJs speakeasy is just an extreme Celtic fan blog to me these days.
    He is a former Rangers man don’t ya know (aye ok)
    Even the comment section has been taken over by the  Celtic good everyone else bad squad.
    At least this site has the excellent input from the two jambos and a few others.

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    AUGUST 7, 2017 at 16:44

    Whether people like the person who runs that blog surely isn’t the point.

    Fisiana suggested “… a  conclave of the best minds in Scottish football who seek integrity in Scottish football.”

    He then went on to suggest

    “… a brains trust of (in no particular order) Phil McG, James Forrest, Auldheid, JohnJames, BRTH ,The Mensch and RTC et al to brief the QC employed by Celtic .”

    I simply do not think that including JohnJames / The Mensch would enhance either the ability or the credibility of any such venture. 

    I’m not sure if the idea is to limit the people involved to known Celtic supporters, if it were then I would suggest that Barca and BP are obvious choices to be involved. However I think it would be an even better idea if supporters from other clubs were to be involved. Off the top of my head EJ and AJ would be obvious candidates, though I’m not sure what their feelings would be on the matter.

    Bottom line, credibility of the people concerned is important, as is what particular thing they bring to the debate. Be it specialist knowledge and skills, and forum in which they can get the message out, a drive and determination to see the job through, organisational skills to help pull the whole thing together.

    I have no doubt whatsoever that the people concerned have already thought of all of that and are dealing with it between themselves. 

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  30. I didn’t mean to be so controversial but I still found Grutto’s comment interesting. Not too good at getting statistics myself etc.
    Maybe I’ll just go back to reading.

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  31. Will you sacrifice 48,000(estimated guess) all paying for a season ticket or will you move on and let us shaft you and cheat you for the good of the game.
    Sacrifice punish the guilty for cheating or move on, let the guilty go free for cheating you, thats the choices to choose from and stark reality for Scottish football clubs and their fans.

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  32. BarcabhoyAugust 7, 2017 at 14:18  Fisiani,
    Celtic aren’t employing a QC . The fans are. 
    Celtic have direct access , as a member of both the SFA and the SPFL. They have already succeeded in a committment from the SPFL to a wide ranging enquiry . We await the terms of reference of that enquiry. However it will not include the potential to set aside the LNS enquiry, according to Rod McKenzie
    Why on earth not? If there was some sort contract in the 5 Way that says that could not happen what would be consequences of breaking it?
    Could one club sue another or the SPFL or SFA? Which club? On what basis? That there was an agreement not to apply sporting sanctions even though merited?
    In short who the hell is going to want to go to court and against whom on that basis?
    This “defence” is not about failing to applying sporting sanctions, its about the parties who were guilty of guaranteeing it and engineering that result not getting their jotters. I include McKenzie as an engineer and Regan and Doncaster as the mechanics.
    Having said that I do appreciate there has to be a separate process for getting rid of those fighting a rear guard action, one that all supporters of all clubs (bar one) will want to get behind.
    Glad also to hear Celtic want fundamental change in the SFA to be protectors of the game, even if its taken 4 years.06

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  33. CQN:

    “Today, taped interviews and emails have been seized by the powers-that-be at Hampden, and a formal period of preliminary investigation is now underway.
    This case is now live, and, as such, we are duty-bound to refrain from providing any further details that may prove prejudicial to the ongoing SFA enquiries.
    What we will say at this stage, however, is that whilst five-way agreements may well prevent title-stripping, the potential outcome of these paranoia-busting revelations might leave our game’s guardians with no other option. 
    No other option could also be read as no other alternative. 
    And this is only the beginning of what is a developing story…”
    Well Well Well,  Something is going on!

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  34. What would make you satisfied?

    a/ Title stripping, in order to acknowledge the cheating.

    b/ That cheating happened.

    c/ Reform of football governance, in particular getting rid of Regan & Doncaster and the formation of a single tier body with loads of fan representation.  IE the lessening of the power of corrupt, greedy & cowardly Club reps. CEOs & MDs.

    d/The destruction of LNS outcomes (not setting aside – DESTRUCTION)

    e/ Exposure of the 5 way agreement.

    f/ All referees made to declare their club & membership of Masonic Lodges.

    g/ Referees not allowed to officiate at any games involving their favoured club.

    h/ Financial Fair Play invoked in Scotland.

    I/ Admit continuity is a myth.

    I could go on, but any of 4 from the above list would make me a bit happier.

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  35. jimboAugust 7, 2017 at 22:12 
    What would make you satisfied?
    The truth as this would tick probably all the boxes. If the SFA would have just applied the laws and rules and stop treating their customers as fools. They did not once apoligised to creditors who lost out to a problem that could have been nipped in the bud a long time ago, innocent people continued putting money in to a club that was on the way out and spiralling downwards in debts, to have allowed creditors dues to continue and escalate is the SFA’s fault no-one has admitted or recognised this. To me it is criminal to allow something that hurts people financialy to continue. Taxis, newspaper agents,fast food, face painters, etc working class people paying tax and been fleeced by tax dodgers.
    Systematically Fleeced Anyone

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  36. On the face of it, this CQN story sounds VERY interesting!

    Sounds like the Hampden blazers are now in fire fighting mode – and with a possible JR looming…

    Hell mend them.

    Hope the blazers – and complicit clubs – are completely exposed.

    Fingers crossed that the end game is fast approaching for the Scottish senior game; to purge itself of all corrupt influences.

    And only then can the fans decide whether or not to move on.

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  37. Colour me somewhat hesitant but how many ‘nuclear events’ and ‘developing stories’ have we been teased with over the years, all of which have failed to materialise?

    Like most folks on here I hope CQN has something worthwhile to nail wrongdoers with but , once again, I am not holding my breath.

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  38. AULDHEIDAUGUST 7, 2017 at 22:09 

    If story is sound and stands investigation it is and was a game changer.The fact that SFA have stepped in means that if it is sound, they want to keep control over it, but I doubt they could long grass it if it is. The pampas grass isn’t high enough.


    When I read this my first thoughts were how can the SFA ‘sieze’ anything, unless they have obtained a court order to do so. In that case would it not be a matter of public record? I then wondered why a group of people would so willingly hand over material of this nature to the organisation they probably feel are the least trustworthy of all to do the right thing.

    However e-mails and tapes can be copied of course!

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  39. wottpiAugust 8, 2017 at 07:04
    Colour me somewhat hesitant but how many ‘nuclear events’ and ‘developing stories’ have we been teased with over the years, all of which have failed to materialise?
    Like most folks on here I hope CQN has something worthwhile to nail wrongdoers with but , once again, I am not holding my breath.
    There is no chance that this story is in any way true. There.

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  40. Without going into the specifics of this 2003 story suffice it to say I share the scepticism of the above. 

    On a wider point though it will be interesting to see how the blazers react to the tightening noose.  I would fully expect the clubs to jettison Regan and Doncaster making them the fall guys and lets be honest not a tear would be shed by 100% of the Scottish club football fanbase.  (what was it Jackson said?  It was a good day in the Record office when both sides claimed he was biased!)  Regan and Doncaster’s tenure is marked by (being extremely generous to the point, and beyond, of naivety) ‘rank incompetence.’  But that is the natural response that was expected in 2013 at the very latest, taking time only to complete the triangle with Ogilvie as they were forced out of the door, cardboard boxes of desk contents in hand.  I said at the time that either ‘Rangers’ (sic) had to fall on their sword for cheating (if same club) or ‘die'(sic) (if new club) OR the three amigos had to fall on their swords for blatant incompetence.  To offer to do it now isn’t enough. 

    I’m not sure what will be, but that is a situation entirely of their own making.

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  41. JIMBO

    AUGUST 7, 2017 at 21:48        


    “Today, taped interviews and emails have been seized by the powers-that-be at Hampden, and a formal period of preliminary investigation is now underway.

    The interesting phrase in that CQN splash is ‘East Coast’.

    Sounds like the SFA are getting ready to investigate Ferranti Thistle>Meadowbank Thistle>Livvy again!

    (Only joking…)

    If (and it’s the usual big ‘if’) the SFA is investigating anything, my thoughts are that it’s a diversionary tactic away from the big story.

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  42. Why would any one of us believe that we can now trust the SFA?

    The same people have been in power since before all this happened.

    The self same Regan, the wooden man who once nearly wore out the word “transparency” in an interview and since then has forgotten what he said. 

    The self same small group of influential chairmen who were and are effectively Regan’s puppetmasters.

    The same combination of people who knew about stuff that should have rung alarm bells.

    Those nice folks who helped formulate, discussed as it evolved and signed off on the 5 way agreement (The originals which had title stripping as a requirement).

    The group who masterminded the deeply flawed and blindsighted LNS charade and then hold it up as a key ruling.

    An organisation that has only ever wanted to move on rather than address the ramifications of its own deep seated prejudices, inherent tribalism and subsequent seismic failings.

    Some might say the difference now might be the fact that someone new has recently moved over from the SPFL and taken up an influential SFA position.

    I’d love to be convinced but find it hard to believe any review will ever be clean because there is too much some key players want to stay buried?

    I do however think the fans review has scared some people who don’t want to be sucked in.

    If so

    More Power to the Fans.

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