One, er, Two Rules to Rule Them All

370
130945
Why the SPFL Decision to Deduct Points from Clyde FC For An administrative Error is Raising Eyebrows In Social Media and Encouraging Dancing Around The Lord Nimmo Smith Elephant in the Main Stream.

It was reported in the news that Clyde have been deducted points for fielding an ineligible player in two matches, news that has raised supporter eyebrows when a comparison is made with SFA and the then SPL treatment of ten years of imperfect players registration by the then Rangers FC and caused a bit of dancing in main stream media around the LNS Elephant.

When the existence of side letters that formed part of a players remuneration contract was revealed in March 2012, it prompted an investigation by the SPL into the eligibility to play football of players who had been provided side letters by Rangers FC that indemnified them from any loss should the ebt schemes , through which their main remuneration flowed, be deemed unlawful by HMRC.

The issue for the SPL then was were those players properly registered under SPL rules?

The common belief held until then being that incorrect registration made a player ineligible to play and any game an incorrectly registered player played in was void:

  1. Presumably on the basis the errant club had gained an on field advantage from incorrect registration and/or
  2. to act as a deterrent to clubs to deliberately conceal full registration details from the football authorities.

The result of games in which such a player played was treated as a 0-3 defeat and the 4 points gained deducted and 3 points each granted to their opponents.

To get answers the SPL, after seeking evidence of side letters accompanying any type of EBT from Rangers FC, established the Lord Nimmo Smith (LNS) Commission to identify if a breach of registration rules had occurred and what were the consequences in sanction terms.

It is interesting therefore to compare the following from the LNS Commission in respect of sanctions against Rangers FC for a breach covering ten years of incorrect registration with the sanctions against both Clyde FC over 2 games and Hearts over one game, based on what Lord Nimmo Smith said in his findings at 107 and 108 of his Decision.
Findings that 7 years later have caused social media eyebrows to raise to Roger Moore levels because of apparent contradictions arising from the justifications given for a financial sanction only in the LNS Decision.

LNS Decision basis 107 /108

[107]
We nevertheless take a serious view of a breach of rules intended to promote sporting
integrity. Greater financial transparency serves to prevent financial irregularities. There is insufficient evidence before us to enable us to draw any conclusion as to exactly how the senior management of Oldco came to the conclusion that the EBT arrangements did not require to be disclosed to the SPL or the SFA. In our view, the apparent assumption both that the side-letter arrangements were entirely discretionary, and that they did not form part of any player’s contractual entitlement, was seriously misconceived. Over the years, the EBT payments disclosed in Oldco’s accounts were very substantial; at their height, during the year to 30 June2006, they amounted to more than £9 million, against £16.7 million being that year’s figure for wages and salaries. There is no evidence that the Board of Directors of Oldco took any steps to obtain proper external legal or accountancy advice to the Board as to the risks inherent in agreeing to pay players through the EBT arrangements without disclosure to the football authorities. The directors of Oldco must bear a heavy responsibility for this. While there is no question of dishonesty, individual or corporate, we nevertheless take the view that the nondisclosure must be regarded as deliberate, in the sense that a decision was taken that the sideletters need not be or should not be disclosed.

No steps were taken to check, even on a hypothetical basis, the validity of that assumption with the SPL or the SFA. The evidence of Mr Odam (cited at paragraph [43] above) clearly indicates a view amongst the management of Oldco that it might have been detrimental to the desired tax treatment of the payments being made by Oldco to have disclosed the existence of the side-letters to the football authorities.

[108] Given the seriousness, extent and duration of the non-disclosure, we have concluded that nothing less than a substantial financial penalty on Oldco will suffice. Although we are well aware that, as Oldco is in liquidation with an apparently massive deficiency for creditors (even leaving aside a possible reversal of the Tax Tribunal decision on appeal), in practice any fine is likely to be substantially irrecoverable and to the extent that it is recovered the cost will be borne by the creditors of Oldco, we nevertheless think it essential to mark the seriousness of the contraventions with a large financial penalty. Since Issues 1 to 3 relate to a single course of conduct, a single overall fine is appropriate. Taking into account these considerations, we have decided to impose a fine of £250,000 on Oldco.

Compare this with the Clyde FC case where ineligibility was admitted from the outset so there was no question of dishonesty yet they received a sporting sanction in form of a points deduction, whilst Rangers avoided such a fate on account of the Bryson interpretation that meant that a player whilst not fully and correctly registered was nevertheless eligible to play until the errors were discovered.

What Clyde FC said in their defence of their error was

“We are deeply disappointed with the outcome of yesterday’s hearing as, despite the fact that we admitted the breach of the SPFL rules, we feel that we put forward a robust and cogent case as part of our defence. The case concerned a player, Declan Fitzpatrick, who has been registered with Clyde since September 2018 and was recently on loan at Clydebank.
“The breach occurred as a result of a genuine oversight and a gap in the administrative procedures. This error was not the fault of any individual.
“We feel that the sanction imposed was unprecedentedly harsh.

The result of Clyde honestly admitting to an administrative error was a twin football and sporting sanction of £1500 and 4 points deduction for being honest.

Hearts had a similar administrative error defence when they said:

“ Due to an administrative error on the club’s part at the end of the January transfer window, Andrew Irving entered the field of play in the 65th minute as an unregistered player. Andrew was given an extension contract in January, 2018 and his extension paperwork was all properly completed and in order. However, it was not loaded onto the online SFA registration system at the time. His official registration, therefore, ran out on 9th June, 2018. Unfortunately, this was not picked up in advance of last night’s game.”

Hearts, as a result of their honesty, were deducted two points and fined £10k.

Yet in the case of Rangers FC, LNS judged the decision to withhold side letters was deliberate and because, as a result of non-disclosures of evidence to the contrary, he was able to decide there was no question of dishonesty.

The size of the penalty £250k recognised the longevity of what he was able to treat as an administrative error, but because LNS treated it as such and because the SFA advised that a flawed registration, apparently even if deliberate dishonesty was the reason for that flaw, was accepted by a blindsided SFA, then a player was eligible to play and so no points deduction sanction was applied.

The question of the validity of a deliberate and dishonest registration was never address by LNS although he did say in para 88 of his decision:

“There may be extreme cases in which there is such a fundamental defect that the registration of a player must be treated as having been invalid from the outset. But in the kind of situation that we are dealing with here we are satisfied that the registration of the Specified Players with the SPL was valid from the outset, and accordingly that they were eligible to play in official matches.”

What exactly constitutes an extreme case?

Had LNS seen the HMRC letter of 23 February 2011 or the HMRC letter of 20th May 2011 (that incidentally should have been in the SFA’s hands immediately on receipt under UEFA FFP rules before UEFA were notified of clubs granted a UEFA licence in 2011) would he have been duty bound to consider if a fundamental defect had taken place?

In those letters HMRC justified their pursuit of the wee tax case liability of £2.8M under their Extended Limit rules on basis that when they sought evidence of side letters for DOS ebts in April 2005, Rangers had responded dishonestly and that on sight of that response Rangers QC Andrew Thornhill advised them in early March 2011 not to appeal.

Does that evidence, which was not disclosed by Rangers Administrators Duff and Phelps to then SPL lawyers in April 2012, not point to such a fundamental defect in registration that a player’s registration should be regarded as being invalid from the outset?

However regardless of the rights or wrongs in the construction of the LNS Commission and subsequent Decision based on that construction, the salient point is that Clyde FC and Hearts were deducted 4 points and 2 points respectively, after both admitted to an honest mistake in their registration process and both received twin financial and sporting sanctions. Why Hearts were not deducted the 3 points gained as a consequence of beating Cove Rangers is unclear, although a 3 point reversal would have made qualification out of the group impossible.

Hearts were able to overcome the effect of the two-point deduction and still qualify for League Cup final stages so are unlikely to want to revisit the SPFL decision of points deducted.

However a £10k fine for an honest mistake in one game might be worth appealing on the basis that if a £250k fine for every match Rangers fielded incorrectly registered players was apt in the circumstances that LNS was led to believe existed that on a pro rate back of a fag packet basis this amounts to £695 per game over 10 seasons of 36 games a season, a £10k fine is excessive but would Anne Budge budge?

Anyhoo lets compare the three cases to highlight why eyebrows were raised.

Clyde FC

  • honest mistake admitted – financial sanction and points deduction

Hearts FC

  • honest mistake admitted – financial sanction and points deduction

Rangers FC 

  • Deliberate decision taken not to fully register a player’s details with SFA.
  • Evidence of dishonest motivation to not fully registering a player registration concealed by Rangers
  • financial penalty but no points deduction.

It was always going to be the case that what took place in 2012 under the cloak of the Lord Nimmo Smith Commission would unravel in time as it set a precedent that flew in the face of sporting integrity principles and a common held belief that incorrect registrations attracted a sporting sanction, a belief rekindled by the recent decision to deduct points from Clyde FC.

Perhaps there is a rules based difference that justifies the LNS Decision that can be used by the SFA to explain to the common man why no sporting sanction was applied, but what the common man will ask is it more or less likely that in light of the LNS Decision clubs will be honest with the SFA in future if a player falls foul of the registration process or will appeal on the basis that LNS set a precedent against which all clubs should be judged and then sanctioned.

In a nutshell if an honest mistake is admitted how can a points deduction be justified unless the SFA can show the mistake was a deliberate one carried out by a club to give them a sporting advantage.

The LNS Commission was always a can of worms waiting to be opened which is probably why the SFA rejected the SPFL’s request of September 2017 to revisit the SFA handing of Rangers use of ebts and side letters. Have the SFA introduced a moral hazard in the form of the LNS Decision that will continue to undermine the integrity of Scottish football as long as they allow it to?

Oh what a tangled web we weave eh?

370 COMMENTS


  1. AvatareasyJambo 14th March 2019 at 13:08

     

    I note that paragraph 4 limits reimbursement for termination to 40% of the £500,000 it was costing Elite to refit the store. It seems rather generous of Elite but maybe that's the standard practice in such cases. I wonder, though, if TRFC entering into a contract they had no legal right to enter into will nullify that and leave them open to be sued for the full amount, as well as the cost of unsold merchandise and lost business.

    Paragraph 9 is interesting as it suggests the benchmark for TRFC's pricing is none other than Celtic. I don't know about everyone else, but I'd find it rather embarrassing if my club's benchmark for anything was our local rival, Hibs, with no insult intended to them or their supporters, it's just not…well football.

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  2. John Clark 15th March 2019 at 09:36 24 0 Rate This Cluster One 14th March 2019 at 22:21 '….What would have happened if the club had not gone into Administration and then liquidation and the registered errors were discovered.?' ******************* You mean you think they had not been known about in SFA circles from the day the first EBT payments were omitted from the accounts submitted statement by SDM in respect of players' remuneration? Remarkably charitable of you, Cluster One!angry ……………….. I should have maybe said. What would have happened if the club had not gone into Administration and then liquidation and the registered errors somehow became public knowledge.no

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  3. Allyjambo 15th March 2019 at 16:28
    I wonder, though, if TRFC entering into a contract they had no legal right to enter into will nullify that and leave them open to be sued for the full amount, as well as the cost of unsold merchandise and lost business.
    ……………….
    I wonder if the court case for damages to Ashley next month may not be the end of the matter. And yet back in june 2017 the ibrox fans were told the club was Now free from the clutches of Ashley and sports direct.
    https://mobile.twitter.com/ClusterOne2/status/1106625065448296448?p=v

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  4. Ex Ludo 15th March 2019 at 13:43

    '…Sad day for this club. I’ve heard this is simply not possible under the auspices of the SFA.'

    ………
    Football clubs , Ex Ludo, are,in Scots Law, apparently immortal!( well, since 2012, anyway!)

    I have heard with my own ears an eminent QC argue ( while judge and other eminent QCs looked off into the middle distance not wishing to have to make any unfortunate observation that might redound to their discredit) that it is the spirit, the where-it-is-at-ness , the passion, the support, the club! that is the club.  

    Wonderful to relate, going financially and  toxically bust doesn't kill that 'essence'-the 'club' survives in some religiously mystical way, by transmigration of its essence to some cheap-jack newco , which has first to be recognised as a brand new club by the SFA, before it even begins life …..  and then all the subsequent lying and deceitfulness follows……..

    We have  a lot to learn about the quids and quiddities of Scottish Football, Scottish Law, and the operations of the SFA-and of those involved in our respective clubs in dirty wee acts of betrayal of sporting trust.

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  5. Allyjambo 15th March 2019 at 09:54

    '..So happens I'm off to the theatre tonight to watch Rain Man at the Lowry in Manchester '

    ******

    You will be home by now, of course, Aj. 

    I hope the performance was enjoyable. 

    When I was last down that way HMS Bronington was on display( out of commission) and my now- in- Australia son and I solemnly saluted the quarterdeck. 

    As one does.

    When one has a proper understanding of these things.

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  6. Very quiet day today, so I've been reduced to reading wee snippets of news loosely related to football.

    One such is the news that Michael Johnstone has transferred all of his shares in Kilmarnock FC (1 961 699) and in The Park Hotel Ayrshire Limited (479 800) to Billy Bowie, who now has 4 000 000 shares in the club, and 1 000 000 shares in the Hotel.

    Whether in connection with those transfers or not, HSBC UK now holds  a floating charge created 11 March 2019 over The Park Hotel Ayrshire Ltd. 

    So Johnstone has severed all financial connection with club and hotel.

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  7. John Clark 15th March 2019 at 23:30 

     

    Allyjambo 15th March 2019 at 09:54

    '..So happens I'm off to the theatre tonight to watch Rain Man at the Lowry in Manchester '

    ******

    You will be home by now, of course, Aj. 

    I hope the performance was enjoyable. 

    When I was last down that way HMS Bronington was on display( out of commission) and my now- in- Australia son and I solemnly saluted the quarterdeck. 

    As one does.

    When one has a proper understanding of these things.

    ____________________

     

    Just home now JC, having stayed the night in the nearby Premier Inn. Excellent production of Rain Man, had my wife in tears – she works with autistic kids – and can recommend the Salford Quays for a weekend break even if not going to the theatre or Old Trafford which was visible from our hotel. Weather was horrendous so didn't spend much time wandering around, so, to paraphrase Lord Nelson, I saw no ships, but it would be great to explore in the summer, which we will definitely do at the first opportunity.

    Anyway, it's Saturday and back to the football…

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  8. If TRFC had access to the unlimited credit that Rangers enjoyed, StevieG would have been punted immediately after the cup loss to Aberdeen, IMO.

    But, it would seem that if he wants to progress as a manager, he has to jump before he's pushed at Ibrox.

     

    With the resources he had available he should have done better domestically. But he did qualify for the Europa League which isn't to be sniffed at, and is his one obvious 'achievement' to date.

     

    He must know the warchest from King this summer will contain a few tenners, a number of empty ginger bottles and a Curly Wurly wrapper!

     

    Next season, arguably, will be an even tougher test for Gerrard – with fewer resources and higher expectations from the Board and bears.

    And he doesn't seem to have developed the managerial 'x' factor yet, where he can develop poor / underperforming squad players into consistently high performing team members.

     

    TRFC has several dead rubber games until the end of the season.  Players losing interest.  Plenty of scope for releasing frustrations all round at Ibrox.  Not a happy workplace, at all.

     

    Gerrards's advisers should already be hawking him around the Championship or League 1.

    Better to choose to walk away in a dignified manner and onto a better opportunity…than be resigned by King, followed by an undignified chase to secure your legally entitled severance pay.

    And to quote that great movie "Forrest Gump";

     

    Run Stevie, run!!!   enlightened 
    […and, erm, don’t slip…]

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  9. paddy malarkey 16th March 2019 at 14:03

    '…if it's the same ship .'

    ***********

    yes, paddy malarkey: same vessel. It was still in 'museum' nick at least (if maybe not seaworthy) when my son pointed it out to us  as having once been under the command of Prince Charles! 

    If there is one thing the RN is not,  it's sentimental! Decommissioned vessels- out with the rubbish without a thought!

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  10. StevieBC 16th March 2019 at 14:22

     

    Better to choose to walk away in a dignified manner and onto a better opportunity…than be resigned by King, followed by an undignified chase to secure your legally entitled severance pay.

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

    He's in the first year of a four year contract, I would imagine he is on a reasonably lucrative contract, it's not going to be cheap to get rid of him.

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  11. H, there must be a contract break clause after 1 year, surely?

    King wouldn't have given a rookie manager a strict 4 year contract?

    Especially when Gerrard's immediate value was to shift ST's – last year.

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  12. StevieBC 16th March 2019 at 17:36

    They gave him the gig because no-one else wanted it.

    Well no-one who would have been remotely acceptable to the support.

    He was brought in because he was a name, and as you say sold season tickets.

    What he isn't is football manager. 

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  13. I'm sure most of us know the lyrics to "should I stay or should I go" by the Clash and how appropriate it may be to the current position of Steven Gerrard . Gerrard I doubt is struggling for a crust , he could just walk out without it affecting his standard of living but where would that leave his backroom staff ? Would they be as eager to give up their employment ,I doubt it. Would McAllister step into the hot seat or is he smart enough to see the poison chalice , does Gerrard see out the season or does he go before the upcoming game at Celtic Park , a game which could be the end of his relationship with the fans if he suffers a heavy defeat . Today's game at Ibrox had all the hallmarks of a team that is imploding , the pressures from that most demanding of fan bases has broken many a team and manager before the current crop. Phil has hinted that the media' tasers have been set to exterminate on order of King to encourage Gerrard to walk away without a pay off . His use is over, in truth it was over the day they finished selling STs and the allure for next season has lost it's sparkle. For me Gerrard has little to lose , his tenure in Scotland can be smoothed over by his English media chums who unlike their Scottish counterparts are not beholding to Kings instruct . King though can hide out in South Africa far from the madding crowd and leave Gerrard to face the wrath once he blows that dog whistle.  Has anyone seen Graeme Murty recently? If they do can they advise him to look out his brogues , again. So I wouldn't be surprised to see Gerrard walk away, McAllister sacked after flopping against Celtic , Murty back til season ends then endless speculation in the "Close" season on how Mourinho may fancy the challenge …. you know how the story goes

    "Lets Go"

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  14. Just seen on the BBC site that they going to show the Inverness v Hearts Scottish Cup semi on April 13.

    Nothing wrong with that per se and it could be a cracker of a tie.

     

    But it’s at Hampden which will mean vast empty swathes of seats which is daft because it could and should have been moved to a more suitable ground. 

     

    And the 12.15 kick off once again shows the SFA are just totally out of touch with the ordinary match-going fans. 

     

    This kind of nonsense happens way too often and is why we need a strong fans union who are consulted about what is right for us the real stakeholders.

    There should in fact be a simple policy in place agreed by fans for the fans.

    By that I don’t mean anything from Supporters Direct Scotland who pretend to represent us and send out some professionally produced emails but are in fact the SFA in house, token, tick- box effort. 

     

    We need a stronger fiercely independent and better resourced Scottish Football Supporters Association.

    Representatives who understand the real issues and don’t seem frightened to stand up for us all.

    Being independent of the SFA and the SPFL obviously makes a difference and is an essential starting point. 

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  15. What's this about a warning notice to TRFC supporters for the match on 31st  using language suggestive of a livestock shipment under guard from the ' Veladrome'' to the away turnstiles?

    I would hope that that notice was not drafted by anyone at Celtic .

    It's more like the quasi – military format so beloved by Police Scotland.

    Safety and security are, of course, paramount,but the use of depersonalising threatening language is unwarranted.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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  16. I'm thinking that there are certain club supporters who should regard being referred to as "cattle" as a compliment.

     

    … and there will be cattle around Scotland taking offence at being ‘tarred with the same brush’…

    indecision

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  17. Cluster One 17th March 2019 at 21:24 

    "….John Clark 17th March 2019 at 12:59

    Will it be something like this?……..'

    _______________

    Geez, that takes me back, Cluster One!

    I'll be intrigued to see what kind of  arrangement will be made by the Plod.

    How many police officers will be needed at the 'Veladrome' marshalling-point to get the away supporters formed up 'in column' , prevent strays, and at the appointed time  protectively escort the few (few?) hundred  the two or three hundred yards  to the turnstiles, see them all inside, and prevent late-comers getting anywhere near the turnstiles thereafter? 

    Even with maximum fan co-operation, that would take at least a half-hour, I reckon.

    As I implied in my previous post, I've no difficulty with the fact that public safety has to be of prime interest, and no Match Commander would want to find himself in the dock if people are injured/killed through any perceived negligence on his/her part.

    But there is such an antecedent note of 'aggression' , such a 'non-customer friendly' tooling up for aggression that comes across in the public messages from the 'authorities', such a contemptuous readiness to treat football fans as being by definition thugs, hooligans, and not at all entitled to anything like ordinary respect as consumers of recreation- like film or theatre goers, or whatever.

    Some of that attitude stems of course from the Football Authorities' own contempt for supporters, as Finloch and others have mentioned earlier.

     

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  18. Bogs Dollox17th March 2019 at 00:12Edit

     

    10

     

    19

     

    Rate This

     

    Bogs  Dollox

    I may have missed it but wasn't Auldheid and his activists going to move against the SFA because Celtic don't want to?

    ========

    When it happens you won't miss it

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  19. Auldheid18th March 2019 at 01:52    

     

      ======== When it happens you won't miss it 

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

     

    When will that be? Some of us are running out of time on this earth.

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  20. Trisidium@13.06

    The article in question has a certain originality about it. Can anyone really be too famous to manage a football club? Johann Cruyff and Zinedine Zidane spring to mind.

    My interpretation is that it’s just another way of saying the players aren’t good enough. That’s the sort of thing that saps morale and strengthens the negotiating position of potential buyers of said players.

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  21. Ex Ludo 18th March 2019 at 13:43

    Trisidium@13.06

    The article in question has a certain originality about it. Can anyone really be too famous to manage a football club? Johann Cruyff and Zinedine Zidane spring to mind.

    My interpretation is that it’s just another way of saying the players aren’t good enough. That’s the sort of thing that saps morale and strengthens the negotiating position of potential buyers of said players.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    There is also the not very subtle suggestion that Gerrard has lost the dressing room and may not be able to win it back. It's been a poor return for all of "King's money" that has been splurged on hasbeens.

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  22. Bogsdollox@14.18

    If JJ is correct in one of his blogs then there is a suggestion that he (Gerrard) didn’t even find the dressing room. The look on Jimmy Bell’s face when Gerratd was in the dressing room on day one spoke volumes. It was mooted in the same JJ blog that Gerrard left the day to day coaching to the guys from Liverpool who were more qualified than him in any case.

     

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  23. To be fair, there is no downside for SG.

    Without TRFC he could be a glorified 'meeter & greeter' at Anfield today.

    Even as an exposed, rookie manager he has the media contacts in England and smart advisers around him: he's undoubtedly much better placed to secure a club in England than he was this time last year.

    IMO, he will move on before next season.

     

    And what about TRFC…?

    IMO, TRFC is in EXACTLY the same position as it was, when it was born in 2012.

    The club needs a well seasoned / travelled, mature manager.

    Mibbees a veteran, pragmatic manager with one last project in him, before retiring?

    A manager to stabilise the club, instil proper footballing values throughout the club, and create a strong foundation for the long term.
    A manager who would take no nonsense from King, Traynor et al off the park either.

    It could also involve revamping their Academy, and/or implementing a business model like CFC as a development / selling club.

    But, a manager like that needs time.

     

    Yet time is what TRFC and the bears will not surrender, no. 

    They want trophies, and they want them NOW!

     

    …so the circus at Ibrox will continue, with the merry-go-round of new managers, and a dwindling pot of cash to pay the bills.

    It would be tragically sad, if it wasn’t so bloody funny.
    IMO.
    🙂

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  24. Trisidium 18th March 2019 at 13:06
    8 0 Rate This

    Looks like King is briefing against Gerrard with Keef’s latest
    ………….
    Having not read Keef’s latest.
    At last years AGM Mr king stated.
    Praising Gerrard’s impact after today’s AGM, King told Rangers TV: “I would say he is ahead of the game in the sense having made the investment in the players we were bringing in.

    “He brought in 15 players if I remember correctly and I think it’s probably fair to say only one of the 15 hasn’t worked out.
    https://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/sport/football/3547683/rangers-dave-king-steven-gerrard-signings-transfers/
    ………………………
    Is keef’s article suggesting maybe Mr king now thinks more than one player now is not working out?
    Or has the Praising of Mr Gerrard taken a downward curve, in the space of these few short months since the AGM?

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  25. pm, in this day and age you wouldn't expect to see those images… and Scottish football should never become complacent.

     

    Ridiculous as it sounds, I fully expect an 'unusual' refereeing decision(s) to trigger crowd unrest in a game in Scotland.

     

    And following the recent focus on fans' behaviour, it's probably to their credit that there hasn't been any serious crowd trouble this season, so far.  

    There have been quite a few ref decisions – and lack of decisions – which have rightly enraged supporters.

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  26. Trisidium 18th March 2019 at 13:06
    8 0 Rate This

    Looks like King is briefing against Gerrard with Keef’s latest

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

    Alex Rae said on radio tonight that he understands Gerrard will be heavily backed during the close season to sign 'marquee' players. That's quite a statement and I'm sure it's nothing to do with season ticket renewal time coming up. 

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  27. Cluster One 18th March 2019 at 19:45

    '..has the Praising of Mr Gerrard taken a downward curve, in the space of these few short months since the AGM?.'

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

    Tonight's 'Sportsound' programme was interesting in that English, Stewart and Darryl Broadfoot kind of coalesced in damning Gerrard with faint praise: yes, he had had quite a successful run in Europe, which is a fair enough achievement in itself, and was , according to Darryl, the 'saving grace' for Gerrard; but the season was  certainly going to be trophy-less and the league title challenge was virtually gone.

    There seemed to be agreement that King's assertion that most of the signings   Gerrard had made had been valuable additions was no more than blather and nonsense: mostly mediocre and/or elderly loans, some of whom according to Darryl would have been better staying with their parent club

    Stewart /English stressed that TRFC had nowhere near the financial resources Gerrard would need to build the kind of team needed to seriously challenge for the league title next season,[ the dismayed cry from Kenny Mac 'Do you not think so?' was brushed aside without comment!]

    Stewart said there was no sign of there being any kind of behind the scenes structures and planning to bring about an orderly, consistent player recruitment and development , citing how both Aberdeen and Kilmarnock had 'managed' their player turnover by a judicious mix of youth development and loan-players. 

    Darryl, I think, tended to agree with that, but sort of hinted that the general run of TRFC supporters were realistic, and as ready as King (?!) to allow some time for Gerrard to get his act and team together over the close season [ to try to stop 9 in a row , rather than sweat it out the following season]

    It seems to me that a change of Coach now would be expensive, would reduce cash available for player purchase, would make King's  window-dressing appear for what it was-a gimmick, and in any case there is no money for a big-name coach with any kind of track record of success.

    ( Tommy Wright actually is the man they need, in my opinion. But then what do I know? My enjoyment of the game has never been a function of my understanding of the coaching manuals!broken heart)

     

     

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  28. upthehoops 18th March 2019 at 21:49

    '…Alex Rae said on radio tonight that he understands Gerrard will be heavily backed during the close season to sign 'marquee' players. '

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

    Well, I suppose if I held a wee letter from 'Rangers Football Club' telling me that, if the taxman comes after me for tax and penalties due on my undeclared remuneration of £569K, they will pay it, no worries, I would be ready to say anything in support of any body claiming, however falsely,  to be that 'Rangers Football Club'. 

    I think it's odds on that if someone like Kenny Mac of the BBC thinks that TRFC has oodles of money, someone like Rae cannot be expected to know and understand the truth, and while his 'loyalty' may be commended, his fatuous comments are worthy of absolutely no credence whatsoever.

    And I imagine that Rae is in no way any more privy to the twisted thoughts of Chairman of the plc King than the directors of the plc or of  TRFC.

     

    View Comment

  29. StevieBC 18th March 2019 at 17:24

    '…The club needs a well seasoned / travelled, mature manager.

    Mibbees a veteran, pragmatic manager with one last project in him, before retiring?

    A manager to stabilise the club, instil proper footballing values throughout the club, and create a strong foundation for the long term.
    A manager who would take no nonsense from King, Traynor et al off the park either.

    It could also involve revamping their Academy, and/or implementing a business model like CFC as a development / selling club…'

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

    StevieBC,

     I had seen your post earlier, and it must have influenced me subconsciously at least, before I posted at 22.51:

    Tommy Wright ticks all those boxes!laugh

     

    View Comment

  30. Tommy Wright and Derek McInnes have both managed their current respective clubs since 2013 and as such could be described as insiders as to what goes on behind the scenes in Scottish football. That DM declined a move to Dave King’s Rangers is quite telling and although I’m merely guessing it would not be beyond the bounds of possibility for TW to be have been “sounded out” as well. While I don’t disagree that TW would make a good job of managing t’Rangers he seems to have a good working relationship with his Chairman and has had a degree of success with St Johnstone. It is instructive that all of the t’Rangers managers since 2012 have been outsiders bar Ally McCoist who took on the job for reasons other than his professional development and as history showed, his tenure didn’t end well. There would have to be wholesale structural changes at t’Rangers and an acceptance by the supporters that it’s going to take perhaps a whole generation before their team is again a serious contender for titles and trophies. If such radical changes ever come to pass then the club might become attractive to someone like TW or DM.

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  31. Hmmm, so the SFA has decided not to charge Morelos for his half-time 'entertainment' on Saturday.

     

    If cited, with any ban upheld, Morelos would automatically miss the next league game on the 31st against CFC.

     

    The whole point of the Disciplinary Process is to curb bad behaviour – and encourage good behaviour – on the field of play.

    To state the bleedin' obvious.

     

    Any player who regularly gets away with bad behaviour can become emboldened.  Morelos has racked up plenty of disciplinary points this season – yet his on field behaviour doesn't seem to be improving.  Quite the opposite in fact.

     

    My point is: will the SFA come to regret not charging Morelos today… if on the 31st this hotheaded player becomes the trigger for unacceptable behaviour on the pitch, off the pitch, in the city centre, etc

     

    It was a no brainer: throw the book at Morelos as appropriate punishment for his shockingly bad disciplinary record accumulated from day 1 of this season: and keep him well away from CFC for the rest of the season.

     

    Chickens and roost spring to mind.

     

    View Comment

  32. Ex Ludo 19th March 2019 at 06:46
    It is instructive that all of the t’Rangers managers since 2012 have been outsiders bar Ally McCoist who took on the job for reasons other than his professional development and as history showed, his tenure didn’t end well.
    ………………
    What we found out at the Craig Whyte trial is that Ally had a Golden contract to become the ibrox boss.
    Ally McCoist’s “golden contract”
    The trial heard that when Rangers legend Ally McCoist became the club’s assistant manager under Walter Smith, there was a penalty clause put into his contract that said if he did not become manager when Smith left, the club was going to have to pay him an “enormous” amount of money. Smith, McCoist’s long-term mentor, only seemed to learn the full extent of the deal when he was given details in the witness box. He told defence lawyer Donald Findlay QC: “Mr McCoist obviously negotiates his own contracts, so he’s possibly a bit brighter than I am.”
    …………..
    Later Charles Green vowed to never sack Ally. (wonder why)
    https://mobile.twitter.com/ClusterOne2/status/1108081696627441664?p=v

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  33. https://mobile.twitter.com/JBLuvsCeltic/status/1108073472616361984?p=v
    …………………..
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-47609539
    Although Metro Bank recently came top of a consumer satisfaction league table, financial sharks are circling the challenger bank.

    Metro Bank is now the second most shorted company on the UK stock market.

    That means a lot of financial firms are betting the bank’s shares will continue to fall – despite having already lost 80% of their value in the last 12 months
    ……………………..
    Could this have any impact on RIFC?

    View Comment

  34. Cluster One 19th March 2019 at 20:11

    '….[Metro Bank short-selling]..Could this have any impact on RIFC?'

    I don't suppose RIFC plc has much to lose by way of deposits in Metro in the (?)unlikely event that Metro would be allowed to go bust: -if they had they wouldn't need the likes of Close loans and loans from directors to keep the lights on and pay their lawyers up-front ( as I suppose they might be required to do by any sensible legal firm)

    Presumably, they have some kind of chequeing account but one with no significant overdraft facility.

    If Metro were to go bust it might be a minor inconvenience, but no more than that -unless no other bank would take them on as a customer!

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  35. The latest little bit of football writer nonsense:

    From Alan Pattullo, in 'The Scotsman online' at 22.30  today:

    writing about a former Rangers Football Club player, Pattullo has this :

    "…When the time came to decide whether he wanted to switch his contract to Rangers newco he declined to do so…"

    There is that pig-headed refusal to speak football truth: Pattullo knows that the player's registration was with a  club that was liquidated (and is in liquidation) and that the player was  free to have his registration transferred to any other club who might want him.( And Fraser Wishart manfully supported that view)

    He was under no legal or FIFA, UEFA or SFA  rule required to join the wholly new club  that was NOT the Rangers Football Club that had ceased to participate in Scottish Football, but had only just been created and admitted to Scottish football.

    The inability of the SMSM to simply enunciate the truth that TRFC Ltd, the former SevcoScotland, is not and cannot possibly be the liquidated RFC speaks volumes of their self-protective temporising with truth and/or of their blind partisanship , both of which have enabled , indeed encouraged,our Sports governance body to, quite simply, blow all integrity to hell when it comes to the governance of Scottish Football.

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  36. “After all, Metro Bank is trying to do the exact opposite of what many other banks are doing. 

    It is growing its network of branches while others are shrinking theirs. It is opening in the most expensive locations in the towns and cities it operates in. Its branches are open Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays.”

    This quote is taken from a BBC article on Metrobank. It seems to me at least that this is a fairly unconventional business model that is risky in the extreme. The sort of institution which is likely to attract businessmen who are not risk averse. 

    View Comment

  37. StevieBC 19th March 2019 at 16:48

    No fan of the poor behaviour from Morelos over the season but in this half-time incident he is totally blameless.

    As opposed to trying to get Morelos banned, Broadfoot's cowardly and unsporting behaviour should be shouted from the roof tops.

    If the same incident had been against Shinnie, Naismith, Brown, Kamberi the commentary on the action would have been totally different.

    Anyone receiving a sly rake at the achilles and heel would naturally turn and ask WTF and I would expect all those named above would have mostly likely raised their hands and pushed back in the same circumstances.

    View Comment

  38. Nothing from the Court of Session today in the BDO v Duff and Phelps case as today's motion had apparently been dropped. 

    There is no way to know what the motion was about or why it was dropped. We will just have to keep an eye on the future CoS Rolls for the next hearing. 

     

    View Comment

  39. spikeyheid 20th March 2019 at 10:16

    '..It lays out the options before the judge in today's winding up petition. The Peepil will be unimpressed by the explanation of the liquidation option –'

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

    This clear, simple statement of the 'options' in the Bolton Wanderers case is so essentially the truth that one can see with stark clarity that the deal between the Administrators of RFC and CG was couched in deliberately obfuscatory language such as to suggest that the 'purchase of the business and assets' was  the same as the purchase of the club as a going concern as a football club entitled to continuing membership of Scottish football.

    Charges against the Administrators were, of course, dropped, and they cannot be said to have been guilty of any crime.

    It is a matter of everyday experience that many a second-hand car dealer is likewise not guilty of a crime.

    That our football Clubs generally  also bought into that deal is forever a stain on our Sport, making an absolute mockery of honest sporting endeavour and a farce of the very idea of the Judicial Panel Protocol- judicial panels fiddling and farting about with relatively trivial breaches of 'the laws of the game' while their masters have subverted and continue to subvert the very principles and foundation of the Sport.

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  40. Wottpi

    We'll see, perhaps Shinnie might aim a punch some time soon to test your hypothesis.  I can't really see him getting off with it but that's your opinion.  I hope that raising your fists remains a red card as per normal.  I agree however that Broadfoot should have also been red carded.

     

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  41. easyJambo 20th March 2019 at 11:17

    '..there is no way to know what the motion was about or why it was dropped. '

    *********

    I don't know what the rules/convention/normal practice dictate, but on other similar occasions there has been a handwritten note on the scheduled item on the notice on the notice board to inform of cancellation, change of judge, change of date.

    I looked at the notice board at 9.35 this morning and there was no such notice of withdrawal of motion or whatever. The decision to drop the motion must have been intimated quite late!

    I'm not sure whether the legal bods we saw hanging about had been informed any much earlier than you ,me or the SMSM guy.(I take it they were there as representing a party?)

     

     

    View Comment

  42. John Clark 19th March 2019 at 23:42
    There is that pig-headed refusal to speak football truth: Pattullo knows that the player’s registration was with a club that was liquidated (and is in liquidation) and that the player was free to have his registration transferred to any other club who might want him.( And Fraser Wishart manfully supported that view)
    …………….
    FW was a name that popped up when i was looking at something last night.
    https://mobile.twitter.com/ClusterOne2/status/1108442989779652608?p=v
    Our members rights to object to the transfer to the newco.
    ………..
    I often wonder why no journalist has had an interview with Mr Wishart and asked him to quote that the players could walk away as Charles Green’s newco is exactly that, a new club, and not the club they were playing for.

    View Comment

  43. Further to the Bolton Wanderers story, have a read at this

    https://www.businessrescueexpert.co.uk/bolton-wanderers-get-vital-result-at-the-high-court/

    They live for another wee while!

    But oh, the fearful poignancy of this:

    'Somebody who loves chocolate can go elsewhere if their favourite sweet shop closes down, what can a football fan do?  A Manchester United fan wouldn’t pop on the bus to Manchester City if they disappeared overnight!'

    Simples, really: just get your Sports governance body to lie to itself and the world and deny that a Liquidation has taken place, and as many as 500 000 000 deluded persons worldwide ( + a clutch of  football writers in the MSM will be eager to swallow the lie!

    View Comment

  44. If I was a PR person trying to maintain an image of running a successful PR company with a Blythswood Square office address…

    when in fact I was a one man outfit, with a mailbox address only in the Square, and I was dossing at my main, (only ?), client's premises…

    And I had the rather challenging task of conjuring up a positive story at the tail end of a trophyless, disappointing season, and with ST's to punt to the growling bears…

     

    TRFC 'should' be ok for second place, and that's what most expect.

    But, to get another, rare league win against CFC – and at Parkhead…? 

    Well that could be spun for all its worth as a clear sign of progress for SG, and a clear sign of what's to come next season…so buy your ST's here!

    The SMSM could be primed to have souvenir pull out sections in their papers to celebrate an historic win akin to winning the big cup, no less!

     

    The only problem is that TRFC might not actually win this game, or even draw.

    But, when you've got bugger else to sell as good news at Ibrox you have to go 'all in' – regardless of realistic expectations.

    So, a huge PR offensive prior to the 31st will be coordinated via the compliant SMSM.

    And if the ref made some honest mistakes to assist a TRFC win?  The lines will be forming for ST's at Ibrox the next morning.

     

    A relatively meaningless game for CFC in terms of winning the league could actually be the most important game of the season for TRFC.

    Regardless of the match result, Traynor will be earning his money with all sorts of ‘creative’ BS being obediently copied / pasted all across the SMSM next week.

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  45. StevieBC 20th March 2019 at 23:26
    ……………….
    The give Steven Gerrard another season has begun in the smsm, a win over celtic will only give it momentum.
    How do you solve a problem like Maria….oops.
    How do you solve a problem of season ticket sales?
    A win over celtic and the promise of marquee signings (in reality more loans)
    I expect some youth players to be hyped so much that the ibrox fan base just can’t wait to buy a season ticket for next season to see the starlets in action beside some unrealistic marquee signings.
    A defeat by celtic and it will be squirrels everywhere.

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  46. Keef's latest Opinion piece in the DR sinks to new depths for what is passed off as 'sports journalism' in Scotland;

    "…

    Add to that the spiteful ill-will which was set aside for McLeish purely on the basis of his tenure at Rangers during the EBT years and it begins to feel like winning hearts and minds might be even more of a challenge for this particular Scotland manager than the actual winning of football matches…"

    ===========

    Hands up: I have immense dislike towards McLeish…

    because he was an EBT tax cheating manager, fielding tax cheating teams, with players who were cheating the SFA rules EVERY time they played – and cheated other clubs by 'winning' trophies.

     

    If that translates into "spiteful ill-will" according to Keef, then I wonder how he would term McLeish's above transgressions against Scottish football?

    Just an oversight?

    A wee admin. error?

    He's a football manager which absolves him of any financial / registration errors?

    etc…

     

    Even if McLeish had the record and abilities of Fergie or a Guardiola, he simply should not be anywhere near the Scotland team today. 

    His presence in the national set up is an affront to the Scottish game.

    …for reasons which are obvious to most Scottish football supporters – but apparently not to the wilfully ignorant Keef.

    View Comment

  47. StevieBC 21st March 2019 at 10:21

    '…the spiteful ill-will which was set aside for McLeish purely on the basis of his tenure at Rangers during the EBT years…'

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

    I have a very particular dislike of McLeish, related to his sniggering sleazy low-level public bar kind of school-boy 'double entendre' comment on one of those fatuous (and possibly 'rigged' Sports 'quiz'  shows hosted by ex-tennis players and 'starring' betimes a very,very highly paid gardener)some good few years ago.

    I also think he is a bit of an oaf, a semi-articulate self-promoter, with no sense of shame for having walked out on the Scotland job only to publicly beg and cry for it later.

    Add that to his part in the EBT tax rip-off and sports cheating by the club he managed, I have every reason to be critical of McLeish

    And even more reason to be critical of the likes of Keef  for trying to 'defend' him by asserting that his critics are motivated by spite merely because he was connected with the former RFC now in liquidation

     

    View Comment

  48. StevieBC21st March 2019 at 10:21     

     

    Even if McLeish had the record and abilities of Fergie or a Guardiola, he simply should not be anywhere near the Scotland team today.  His presence in the national set up is an affront to the Scottish game. …for reasons which are obvious to most Scottish football supporters – but apparently not to the wilfully ignorant Keef.  

     

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

     

    As regards being an affront to Scottish football. I'll raise you a Malky McKay. Also for reasons that are obvious.

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  49. A couple of appeals to the Inner House of the Court of Session next week.

    INNER HOUSE ROLLS

    FIRST DIVISION

    Wednesday 27th March

    Reclaiming Motions (Lord Malcolm)

    A293/16 Paul Clark v the Chief Constable of the Police Service of Scotland &c  Campbell Smith LLP – Urquharts LLP – Ledingham Chalmers LLP

    and

    A295/16 David Whitehouse v the Chief Constable of the Police Service of Scotland &c – Scottish Government

    I know Lord Malcolm heard the cases both against Police Scotland and the Lord Advocate, but I don't know which decision is being appealed. Lord Malcolm produced a lengthy opinion about the immunity of the Lord Advocate from prosecution in September, but can't be certain if that is what is being appealed at this stage, although the case numbers are the same.

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  50. Guess the bold Bazza must be in with a shout for Scotland manager…

    he does tick a lot of boxes for the SFA decision-makers / horse-traders.  angel

    …and no embarrassing HMRC bill outstanding either…

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  51. John Clark 21st March 2019 at 13:21
    I have a very particular dislike of McLeish, related to his sniggering sleazy low-level public bar kind of school-boy ‘double entendre’ comment on one of those fatuous (and possibly ‘rigged’ Sports ‘quiz’ shows hosted by ex-tennis players and ‘starring’ betimes a very,very highly paid gardener)some good few years ago.

    I also think he is a bit of an oaf, a semi-articulate self-promoter, with no sense of shame for having walked out on the Scotland job only to publicly beg and cry for it later.

    Add that to his part in the EBT tax rip-off and sports cheating by the club he managed, I have every reason to be critical of McLeish
    …………………
    Sorry JC if i push you over the edge if you read this.
    https://mobile.twitter.com/ClusterOne2/status/1108794197006536704?p=v

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  52. Who would have thought  a Levein 4-6-0 might be an option come San Marino!!

    Always been a supporter of SPFL players like Shinnie getting a game. Know he plays further up the park these days but a real poor showing defending tonight. 

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  53. The SFA of course will repeat the usual' "Crisis? What crisis?"

    One wonders if McLeish owes someone on the SFA some cash and was appointed so repayment could be made directly from his wages 🙂

    No credentials for the job in the first place. A trail of failure and devastation lies in the wake of his career path, culminating in the most embarrassing reverse ever to befall the national team – and yet he will keep his job.

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Comments are closed.