Podcast Episode 1

SFM PodcastOur First podcast features a general discussion involving our own Big Pink and Auldheid.
Since it is the first podcast there is no particular agenda save for a general chat about TSFM, the state of Scottish Football, and some few reminiscences. The chat covers a lot of ground, but establishes the ethos of the blog pretty well.

Topics discussed include FPP, Leadership, Interdependence, Scotland’s self-regard, Coaching and Nurturing of Talent, Redistribution of Income, Rangers, Forgiveness, domestic strife 🙂

The interview was conducted a couple of days before the latest round of Armageddon, when Big Pink and Auldheid felt safe and well 🙂

The link below is to the iTunes store page for our Podcasts.  If you go there, you can subscribe to the podcast (on your PC or iPhone) and new episodes will automatically be sent to you.

Since we have just been approved for a spot on iTunes, the iTunes search side of things may not work properly for a day or so.

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Trisidium

Trisidium

Trisidium is a Dunblane businessman with a keen interest in Scottish Football. He is a Celtic fan, although the demands of modern-day parenting have seen him less at games and more as a taxi service for his kids.

1,850 Comments
  1. nowoldandgrumpy


    Grant has changed the last paragraph of his report.

    The company’s assets were subsequently sold to a new company, allowing the club to continue as a functioning member of the Scottish Football Association after the governing body approved a transfer of membership between the two.

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  2. easyJambo


    john clarke says: February 24, 2014 at 7:32 pm

    Great summary JC. I hope to make it along for a day later in the week.

    I too am surprised by Colin Bishopp’s replacement. However I can foresee some conspiracy complaints from the Bears with the revelation that a “Joseph Raymond Doherty” (assuming I’ve got the right Lord) is in charge of the tribunal. 😉

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  3. Auldheid


    sannoffymesssoitizzhizzemdyfonedrapolis says:

    February 24, 2014 at 7:07 pm

    I have not dug into the report but you raise an interesting point about its jurisdiction to only England.

    The question is why England was able to get the government involved in looking at football and the Scottish Government, in spite of how much it saw the part the game plays in the social fabric of Scotland, has steadfastly refused to really get involved as happened down south, using the FIFA defence i.e FIFA do not want Government interference in football.

    I think the all party Select committee approach made, if I remember correctly, from volunteer MPs was how a Chinese Wall was erected to give government a foothold without breaching the FIFA defence.

    My point is that now more than ever, when you have folk in authority with a responsibility to govern themselves that they are incapable of meeting and so creating lawless territory, the Scottish Government, as has been suggested for England, do not decide enough is enough and step in to insist the SFA put its house in order.

    Something like the Scottish equivalent of the English Parliamentary body with a similar zeal for reform is what is needed.
    Instead we got the Offensive Behaviour at Football bill as Governments only intervention and what a discouraging advert for intervention that has been.

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  4. justshatered

    justshatered


    As a kid I used to play monopoly with my brothers. Most times I would win but this was down to the sheer luck of the dice more than my entrepreneurial skill.
    One game in particular still stands out to this day. I only had the yellow coloured properties, with a few houses on each, while my brother had the rest of the board with hotels on everything. With each roll of the dice I nipped from ‘Chance’ to Community Chest’ to the Electricity and Water Works while my brother regularly land on my properties twice each time he passed. Soon my brother was downsizing from hotels to houses and then I went to Jail for three goes. By the time I came out I had the whole of one side of the board and he was now landing on my properties three or four times every time he passed.
    Soon I owned two sides of the board and my brother had no houses left while I was loading hotels onto every property. It was only a matter of time.
    My brother eventually capitulated.

    The reason I mention my not so misspent youth is because this is what I believe is now happening in Govan. There is no money left. They have gone to the city who didn’t want to know. They cannot borrow money against Ibrox or Murray Park (still not renamed) while Craig Whyte is hovering in the background. They are now paying 30% on £1M for six months secured against Edmiston House and the Albion Car Park. When September comes this will coincide with the season ticket money running out. If at that point Craig Whyte is still on the scene then who will lend money to ‘The Rangers’?
    Laxey’s will take the two properties and dispose of them as they wish after all that is what Hedge Funds do.

    If Craig Whyte is not on the scene by this time then it is a certainty that there will be a sale and lease back of Ibrox and Murray Park. There was a document which did the rounds about sixteen months ago that detailed this scenario and from this document ‘The Rangers’ actually only got about £8.5M. Without serious cost cutting this will still not take them through to next seasons end. So there will be no property left and nothing left to sell. This is when ‘the real Rangers men’ will have to step up to the plate or the club will fold. But make no mistake about it by this time there will be nothing left except a large monthly shortfall for the new owners to make up.

    This is just like a game of Monopoly where the destitute business starts chipping away at its assets to keep afloat as money bleeds away. Come September this will turn into a torrent with no way back. It is eating itself from the inside with no option but to carry on. With the exception of Administration it cannot break the contracts with players or do anything about its catering or commercial contracts. Indeed with each Administration revenue from these streams will become worse as the risk to the reputation of any sponsor becomes greater.
    Downsizing on a massive scale is the only option however the fans will not tolerate this and refuse to buy season tickets which in turn means even deeper cuts.

    This is the future for ‘The Rangers’.
    The next few months will not be pretty. The SFA will grant a licence for next year in the full knowledge that they will not see out the season but they no longer have any option. They have nailed their colours to the mast and can go no other way. Ditto the MSM.
    When the true reality dawns there will be serious trouble from the faithful just about the time of the Independence referendum.
    Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm now that would indeed be a strange coincidence and even stranger timing.

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  5. ecobhoy


    john clarke says:
    February 24, 2014 at 7:32 pm
    =============================================
    John an excellent report – it’s not easy when this kind of legalese is washing over you all day to keep track of the salient points and be able to describe them as concisely as you have done. In many ways it’s encouraging to see the arguments against the majority decision so closely mirror the same arguments made by us bampots after the Opinions were released.

    Reading the two separate opinions from the FTTT it was difficult to believe they were dealing with the same case – chalk and cheese didn’t have a look-in.

    The telling factor for me was that the ‘Majority’ were unable to pick any fault in the lengthy Poon Opinion compared to their own very anorexic offering.

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  6. sannoffymesssoitizzhizzemdyfonedrapolis

    sannoffymesssoitizzhizzemdyfonedrapolis


    Some Bedtime Reading for the insomniacs amongst us 😯 ❓

    http://www.financeandtaxtribunals.gov.uk/judgmentfiles/j6851/TC02372.pdf

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  7. Not The Huddle Malcontent


    ally says the loan is all part of the plan

    but i thought they were in the middle of a 120 day review

    so was this the plan before that started – and if so, why no mention of the directors and major shareholders lending the club money in the future (at the agm)

    or was this one of the things identified as part of the 120 day review – like the fans survey

    maybe the cuts will come next week, as part of this process and we are just being impatient bampots.

    nice to see that a couple of the directors have secured their positions should the clumpany have an extraordinary fiscal event!!

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  8. sannoffymesssoitizzhizzemdyfonedrapolis

    sannoffymesssoitizzhizzemdyfonedrapolis


    Auldheid says: February 24, 2014 at 8:17 pm

    Thanks for your thoughts which prompted me to do some further internet research.

    Re FIFA and government involvement in football.

    UK Parliamentary Select Committees are elected from amongst the cohort of MPs periodically.
    All Party Parliamentary Groups consist of volunteer MPs who share a common interest in a particular subject. From the Report you posted the APPG for Mutuals liaised with the Chair of the Select Committee for Culture Media & Sport and the APPG on Football before inviting representatives from the FA / EPL/ EFL and Supporters Direct to meet with them in November 2013.

    There was of course the Scottish Football Review Committee chaired by Henry McLeish that reported in 2010.

    My search on the Scottish Parliament website discovered the following meeting on 20 February 2014.

    http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/visitandlearn/73204.aspx

    I’ll try to check periodically for a report of the meeting and post it on here in due course.

    More on Bruce Crawford at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bruce_Crawford that includes links to his own website. He must have time to consider correspondence from constituents if he had a meeting last Friday.

    It also appears that Scottish residents, (I’ve been an economic migrant since 1978) can petition the Scottish Parliament Public Petitions Committee on most matters. Here’s a copy of their November 2013 Report for example. http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/parliamentarybusiness/28862.aspx?r=8878&mode=pdf

    The following link illustrates how much effort petitioners might have to put in to get anywhere.
    http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/GettingInvolved/Petitions/PE01319

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  9. scapaflow

    scapaflow


    Not The Huddle Malcontent says:
    February 24, 2014 at 9:13 pm

    Recovering from broken arm, karma I am told for ripping the knitting out of accountants Apparently the dreary ranks of the dismal profession had been sticking pins in wee dolls 👿

    My understanding is that Mr Wallace has faced two issues that transcend all others as he conducts his review

    1. Insufficient funds in hand, or forecast to meet the day to day costs until the STs come in
    2. (Which is related to 1). Insufficient funds to actually run a Business Transformation Programme.

    When dealing with Issues, (and major Risks), it’s good practice to have a recovery plan, being charitable, I suspect that it is this recovery plan that is being referred to :mrgreen: rather than the actual Programme Plan

    However, these loans, can either pay the day to day for a while, or fund part of the Transformation Programme, but not both. In short, Mr Wallace has his thumb in the dyke, but that ole storm surge just keeps rolling in.

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  10. Not The Huddle Malcontent


    Imran is back before Lord Tyre tomorrow

    http://www.scotcourts.gov.uk/rolls/supreme/lists/r140224_122.htm

    2hrs being set aside – will we get any meat on the bones tomorrow?

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  11. Not The Huddle Malcontent


    Just thinking, the Quantitative Easdales facility was for £500k, Imran in court tomorrow, looking for….£500k

    Imran gets paid, Easdales get security over an asset – one more spiv moves on happy, one more has to bide his time…..which he will get when Laxey pull the trigger when the RIFC loan to them is defaulted.

    hmmmmmm

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  12. jean7brodie

    jean7brodie


    What is happening to the site just now? I am all befuddled or is it dementia?

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  13. Bangordub


    Thumbs have disappeared, load speed is on a go slow, perhaps the masters of the dark arts have cast a wee spell?

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  14. auchinstarry


    Site is very slow…..Are we under attack from some organised Internet husher ups?
    NTHM. Nail Hammer Head!! If the Laxey loan is defaulted we have ready made and well camouflaged “Baddies” who have closed us down for a measly million! definitely Not Ranjirs men, not interested in the History or the future of the club. Gies our Money …….with Interest. !!

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  15. ianagain

    ianagain


    JC
    Brilliant. well summarised. I had about 45 minutes worth to describe. You have concisely distilled a days worth.
    Ill be tuning in tomorrow from 32000 feet with WIFI courtesy of my airline on my way to Barcelona.
    Got to be a TSFM first – no? 😆

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  16. neepheid

    neepheid


    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2567035/More-financial-unrest-Rangers-chief-Wallace-defends-loan.html

    From the article, Wallace re the Laxeys loan-

    ‘The remaining part of the facility has a 15 per cent premium. If you look at the level of expectation in the commercial market, the rate the club is paying is not out of alignment with what you’d expect to find.”

    Over 30% APR? Is he serious? That statement comes straight from cloud cuckoo land. I am rapidly coming to the conclusion that Wallace doesn’t have a clue. Could that be why he was given the job?

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  17. Bangordub


    Alasdair Lamont ‏@BBCAlLamont 5m
    Lawyers for Rangers’ former commercial director Imran Ahmad will on Tuesday ask a judge to arrest funds of £750,000.javascript:grin(‘:mrgreen:’)

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  18. scapaflow

    scapaflow


    neepheid says:
    February 24, 2014 at 11:21 pm

    When all you have are lemons, best to make lemonade. Wil e coyote has run off the cliff, and is tap dancing on fresh air.

    Tomorrow cld be interesting, what odds on a settlement?

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  19. enough is enough


    From RM re the UTT:

    Absolutely nothing to do with us.

    Would be quite happy for the OldCo lose it and for them to realise that there is absolutely nothing they can do to effect us.

    Not really fussed either way to be honest.

    Neck — Blowtorch anyone?

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  20. Castofthousands


    Not The Huddle Malcontent says:
    February 24, 2014 at 10:27 pm

    “Imran is back before Lord Tyre tomorrow”
    —————
    Where is that court premises located?

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  21. Castofthousands


    Denial of service attack?

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  22. Auldheid


    The Podcast with Stuart Cosgrove is well worth listening to, giving a wider Scottish football perspective.

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  23. TSFM


    Lots of trouble with the site today. Lots of Far East traffic on the server – unrelated to any possible involvement from any un-named PR firm :mrgreen:

    Will continue to work on it, but have a listen to the new Podcast (you can get it from the sidebar at the top of the page).

    or here
    http://www.podcastgarden.com/podcast/tsfm

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  24. Auldheid


    sannoffymesssoitizzhizzemdyfonedrapolis says:

    February 24, 2014 at 9:33 pm

    Auldheid says: February 24, 2014 at 8:17 pm

    Thanks for your thoughts which prompted me me to do some further internet research.

    Re FIFA and government involvement in football.

    UK Parliamentary Select Committees are elected from amongst the cohort of MPs periodically.
    All Party Parliamentary Groups consist of volunteer MPs who share a common interest in a particular subject. From the Report you posted the APPG for Mutuals liaised with the Chair of the Select Committee for Culture Media & Sport and the APPG on Football before inviting representatives from the FA / EPL/ EFL and supporters Direct to meet with them in November 2013.

    There was of course the Scottish Football Review Committee chaired by Henry McLeish that reported in 2010.

    My search on the Scottish Parliament website discovered the following meeting on 20 February 2014.

    http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/visitandlearn/73204.aspx

    I’ll try to check periodically for a report of the meeting and post it on here in due course.

    ==================
    Well done that man. I had a wee trawl through the same site but found nothing. I remember Margo McDonald was on some sports committee but that went back a few years ago and she has moved on.

    It would be worth while keeping an eye on updates.

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  25. Danish Pastry


    It’s been a hard day’s night keeping up with the fast pace of events.

    Top stuff from many offering stand-out stuff, plus the court reporter and that St Johnstone supporter on the podcast rounding off the day – a great listen!

    Whoever next — the chairman of Raith Rovers?

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  26. paulonotini


    John Clarke @ 7.32pm

    Thanks John for a comprehensive summation of events today,
    brilliant work
    just another 4 weeks to go,lol.
    What do u make of change in presiding Judge from Bishopp to Doherty
    ?

    View Comment
  27. sannoffymesssoitizzhizzemdyfonedrapolis

    sannoffymesssoitizzhizzemdyfonedrapolis


    Rangers: Imran Ahmad to ask judge to arrest £750,000 funds
    By Alasdair Lamont Senior football reporter, BBC Scotland

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/26333152

    Lawyers for Rangers’ former commercial director, Imran Ahmad, will on Tuesday ask a judge to arrest funds of £750,000 as their legal battle continues.

    Ahmad’s lawyers will argue that the Rangers Football Club Ltd is trading insolvently and would be unable to pay if he won his claim against them.

    The man who arrived at Ibrox along with former chief executive Charles Green initially intended to pursue £3.4m.

    He claims he is owed at least £500,000 in unpaid bonuses.

    The case will be heard by Lord Tyre at the Court of Session in Edinburgh on Tuesday morning.

    It emerged earlier this month that Ahmad’s lawyers wished to call Green as a witness, something Rangers are reluctant to see happen.

    Rangers currently do not have their financial woes to seek and announced on Monday that they had secured loans totalling £1.5m to help them meet cashflow requirements for the remainder of the season.

    Players also refused to accept a 15% pay cut proposal as the Rangers chief executive Graham Wallace seeks to make savings.

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  28. Bawsman

    Bawsman


    This is beginning to follow a pattern.

    It was Martin Bain who ring-fenced money from 1st Rangers when he knew the game was a bogey, Looks tragically familiar.

    I wonder what Campbell’s strategy is this time?

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  29. Lord Wobbly


    john clarke says:
    February 24, 2014 at 7:32 pm
    64 0 Rate This
    Nothing of any great substance to report from today’s UTTT hearing. I was there for 9.30 , but the kick-off wasn’t till 10.00.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    The delayed kick-off was undoubtedly to the sheer volume of traffic on the M8 and was presumably requested by the match commander in order to alleviate any possible congestion at the turnstiles.

    May I just add my thanks for your sterling effort, Mr Clarke. I hope you managed to get your half-time pie and bovril.

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  30. upthehoops


    This morning we are treated to media coverage basically amounting to ‘nothing to see here, move along now’. I can only assume this nonsense has been lifted straight from the official Rangers website. If Graham Wallace is even daring to suggest media bias because the ‘A’ word is mentioned he should think again. Currently he enjoys a privileged position in that he has been accepted as a real deal heavyweight by people who had probably never heard of him 5 months ago. In that sense he is no different from Charles Green, Craig Whyte, David Murray, David Holmes, and all other before them. Clearly a man at the helm of the good ship Rangers is viewed as a man of greater honesty, integrity, and dignity than others. It’s sickening, but it will never change.

    In my lifetime I have seen massive positive changes in the ways groups of people are treated. It’s far from perfect yet but there is a growing acceptance by the majority that a person’s race, religion, or gender should not prevent them being treated as an equal. Yet, still we have men in positions of power at Rangers who are clearly regarded as superior to all others, simply because of the position they hold. It just doesn’t add up.

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  31. Danish Pastry


    scapaflow says:
    February 25, 2014 at 12:17 am
    6 0 Rate This

    …. Tomorrow cld be interesting, what odds on a settlement?
    ————-

    Until now I’ve had the sense that the Ahmad case was seen as being essentially without merit. If the £750k is an attempt to haggle the £500k ‘out of court’ it’s a clever move. It’s amazing to think that he is suggesting Charles Green — lends a wee bit more weight to the theory that their exit last year was ‘engineered’. I wonder what evidence he has that the club … er … company is trading while insolvent, apart from reading the current tea leaves?

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  32. Campbellsmoney

    Campbellsmoney


    Loan. Security. Arrestment. Coincidence?

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  33. ecobhoy


    This is pure speculation but could the Easdale £500k be used to pay-off Ahmad?

    Just think about the proxies held by the Easdale Camp – they include some of the original investors in Rangers and would have had very close working relations with Imran. He knows exactly who they are and not just the ‘public face’ nominees.

    It’s possibly another CW situation where someone just has to be paid-off or the club won’t move forward. Also without the ‘loans’ from Laxey and Easdales then TRFCL would cease to exist and that’s without Imran being paid a ha’penny.

    He can’t claim anything from RIFC Plc as his actions pre-dates the existance of that company. And if TRFCL goes into admin then Imran becomes a creditor. Perhaps he thinks that TRFCL is heading to admin soon and wants a privileged creditor position which he might get if a court freezes cash/assets for him. Perhaps one of our insolvency experts could say whether he would get any privilege in the event of a TRFCL admin.

    It also opens-up the possibility that the ‘free’ Easdale loan money could possibly come from the original mystery offshore-based investors which would mean they still have certain uses for TRFCL. It would also mean that the Easdales could emerge from any financial carnage as the ones who tried to save the club and lost £500k in the process.

    What better credentials to be hailed as ‘True Rangers Men’. They would then lead the next stage in the Rangers soap opera towards the triumphant fields of Europe. However all ‘soap operas’ eventually fail when the audience tires of them usually because the plot lines become well-worn and oh so predictable.

    As I say mere speculation – but bits of it might fit the puzzle. And Imran remains dangerous for what he knows and because of what could be revealed if Green is brought to court as a witness. I doubt that will happen but as long as the threat is there that might be enough to arrange a pay-day for Imran.

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  34. 100BJD


    Campbellsmoney says:

    February 25, 2014 at 7 51

    Loan. Security. Arrestment. Coincidence?

    ——————————————————————————————————————————-
    NO! Just taking more assets into the lifeboats before the ship sinks. I must say I do not understand why the Rangers fans appear to think that Wallace is a trusted top man. They should ask who appointed him…..mmmmmm…well it might just have been The Laxeys……..who were introduced, complete with a non dilution share agreement (therefore it had to be personal as opposed to public) by …yes Charliebhoy. Equally on the professional side Wallace presided over the biggest loss in Premier League history and needed a 120 day review of what is a small and fairly simple business when most turnround professionals need 7-10 days. Not a blinding CV and out of work since City. A dupe at best I think!
    To say that the loan is part of a plan is risible and then to justify the terms is embarassing. Equally interesting is that the loans were secured on post IPO purchased property which my cynical mind says are of good title as opposed to the rest of the property assets which has the odour of Sevco 5088!

    Cambellsmoney………………….what an excellent and informed poster

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  35. neepheid

    neepheid


    Since Ahmad is claiming that TRFC is trading while insolvent, does that not mean that to defend the action, TRFC’s lawyers will have to produce evidence of solvency to the court?

    Just as an aside, I can’t see how his claim for £500k can fail, assuming the CF documents on the subject are genuine. Since Green is apparently prepared to go into bat for his “wee p— friend” then it looks nailed on to me. Certainly if I was promised, in writing, a £500k payoff by the CEO of the group I worked for, and then got nothing, I would be having my day in court- and fully expect to win.

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  36. Bryce Curdy


    In the event of HMRC winning the UTTT, I am absolutely determined that all honours won by the former Ibrox club should be challenged, probably via another ‘Item 12’ at Celtic’s AGM approach.

    With that in mind, does anyone know which ( if any) specific SPL and SFA rules would have been broken? Would it come down again to player eligibility, and even if not, what is the risk of a Bryson get-out-clause?

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  37. TSFM


    New post up.

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  38. ecobhoy


    Bryce Curdy says:
    February 25, 2014 at 8:52 am

    In the event of HMRC winning the UTTT, I am absolutely determined that all honours won by the former Ibrox club should be challenged, probably via another ‘Item 12′ at Celtic’s AGM approach.

    With that in mind, does anyone know which ( if any) specific SPL and SFA rules would have been broken? Would it come down again to player eligibility, and even if not, what is the risk of a Bryson get-out-clause?
    ============================================================================
    Personally I’ll wait until the UTT makes its decision and on what terms and then I might be in a better position to make an informed judgement.

    As to specific SFA and SPL Rules I think most people are well aware that when push comes to shove they really mean nothing in certain circumstances and as you mention when they can’t be ignbored, circumvented or a new one ‘made-up’ then there will be another ‘interpretation’produced although I think Bryson is now probably past his sell-by date.

    However, in the meantime, I’m afraid I won’t be joining this particular speculation as I have enough to be getting on with on current issues like State Aid; the actual UTT Hearing evidence; Imran’s case; understanding/investigating the Sevco 5088 issues; and the unfolding drama at Ibrox and all sorts of other things that are happening right now and not several years down the line.

    Always remember that any UTT decision can be appealed so we are possibly years away from any final decision there. Who knows what version of Rangers we will be on by then.

    However a lot of us on here have our own little ‘obsessions’ so feel free to pursue any that float your boat and I will read them and respond if I feel I can contribute anything. It would be interesting however to hear your own views on the matters you have raised as a starting point for the area of debate you have proposed.

    As to any future Resolution at Celtic’s agm perhaps it might be sensible to wait and see how the present one pans out before deciding any future moves. Personally I would be happier if the resolution you suggest were to be raised by Rangers supporters at their agm should the final decision on EBTs eventually declare them illegal.

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  39. ecobhoy


    100BJD says:
    February 25, 2014 at 8:26 am

    The Laxeys……..who were introduced, complete with a non dilution share agreement
    ==================================================================

    Hi BJD – I must have missed the non-dilution share agreement – can you explain further. I’m not sure if you are referring to the switch of Green shares to them to reduce the £1 they paid to the IPO price of 70p.

    And how would any non-dilution agreement stand-up against Res 10 and possibly 9?

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  40. broganrogantrevinoandhogan


    Good Morning one and all.

    I would guess that it is over a year since I have written anything at all about the Rangers Tax Case, the FTT decision and, obviously, the appeal by HMRC to the UTT.

    However, the time is right for a recap and a reiteration of where I think this will go.

    HMRC were supremely confident of winning at the FTT — possibly too confident — and I believe that the arguments that were put forward by their council yesterday reflect that their then counsel ( I understand they have a different advocate in to bat with the appeal ) did not place enough emphasis on certain aspects of their case ( though he did make the salient points ) and that the judges who made the majority decision misdirected themselves in law and therefore reached an incorrect legal conclusion.

    Further, it is clear that the HMRC counsel has focused on the brevity and narrowness of the majority decision and has spelled out right from the very start of his submissions that he is critical of — or at least finds it odd — that the majority chose not to assess the quality of the evidence provided by the various witnesses, unlike Dr Poon who effectively slaughtered the credibility of the Murray camp witnesses.

    Further, as he proceeds today, the HMRC counsel will also point out that, perhaps somewhat unusually, the majority judges did not disassociate themselves from the assessment of the evidence made by Dr Poon ( indeed they rather benignly say that certain aspects of that evidence gave them difficulty ) thus leaving Poon’s conclusions as to reliability and credibility unchallenged and effectively a matter of record.

    This particular criticism is behind the very early suggestion that at the very worst the matter should be referred back to the FTT for a fresh hearing, thus facing those witnesses to repeat their evidence and of course face further cross examination.

    However, that is not the main thrust of this appeal.

    In the majority decision, the two judges who found in favour of the Murray group almost exclusively concentrated on the concession from HMRC that the trusts that were set up in Jersey for the benefit of the players, and the loans made by those trusts to those same players or their family members, should be regarded as real and legal, and should not be looked upon as a sham or a series of sham transactions which were of no legal effect.

    Having effectively asked the tribunal to accept that the trusts and the loans were real, the rest of the HMRC argument seems to have been lost or ignored by the two judges and as a result they concluded that if there were real trusts and real loans then there should be no tax payable as you do not pay PAYE or NIC on a loan. No one does that and so these footballers etc should be no different.

    Dr Poon on the other hand takes the view that notwithstanding the concession by HMRC, any examination of what really happened here shows that the trusts were completely false and that the loans were never loans at all but were merely a mechanism whereby the beneficiaries received part of their contractual earnings in a manner which attempted to avoid the tax which would otherwise have been due and payable by law.

    Two focused on the concession by HMRC and concluded that this took precedence over all other evidence while one ignored it and looked at all of the other evidence — and thereafter reached a conclusion which strangely the other two did not disagree with in terms of her assessment of the evidence which they chose to ignore.

    At appeal, HMRC will still insist that for them to succeed the court or tribunal does not need to find that the trusts and loans were in fact shams ( an argument assisted by the recent Aberdeen Asset Management decision ) BUT their counsel will place a far greater emphasis on the source of the funding for any trust and subsequent loan made to the players.

    The argument will be that these players received the money ( in whatever way , shape or form ) as a direct result of their contract of employment as there were numerous signed written documents that obliged Rangers Football Club to make payment of monies ( whether by way of loan, salary or gift is irrelevant ) to the player or his nominees all as part of the contractual arrangement between player and club.

    Accordingly, whether the money ends up in a trust, or being sent to the player’s granny or his mammy and then lent to the player, gifted to the player or even put on the favourite in the 1:30 at Ayr Race course at the behest of the player is irrelevant. As soon as it leaves the bank account of Rangers FC and goes anywhere for the benefit of the player ( or manager or whoever ) as part of an employment arrangement — then it is subject to tax and NIC.

    THAT is their case in a nutshell.

    The Murray Group will argue to the nth degree that any such payments were purely discretionary– were not payments that Rangers were obliged to make but merely payments that they CHOSE to make to enhance their employees as the EBT legislation provided.

    There are issues with this interpretation — and they are too numerable to go into — but the fact that there are written agreements which seem to prove that the payments were negotiated by the players agents at the very outset would tend to suggest that this “discretionary” argument is pure bunkum as stated ever so clearly by Dr Poon.

    Accordingly, if Mr Doherty in any way finds that the majority judges misdirected themselves by focusing too much on the “sham” argument then this may be a relatively short appeal as the matter would then turn on the law other than the strict concession that the two relied upon– and the quality of the evidence that the FTT actually heard.

    Of course, as I have said above, the only available assessment of that evidence comes from Dr Poon with the other two judges not dissenting from or overly criticising her conclusions — and so in that case only one of two things can happen.

    Either, Dr Poon’s unchallenged assessment of the evidence stands in which case the Murray Group are shafted OR the matter is sent back to the FTT with a direction that the evidence be given again against the background that the “sham” argument is not the be all and end all.

    I suspect it is for this reason ( the focusing of the arguments between the parties ) which has lead to the length of the appeal being shortened from 20 days to 10 — but it is only an estimate and the whole affair will take as long as it takes.

    As for the change of judge?

    Well, one explanation may be that the original judge was a well known tax law practitioner in his day and it just may be that one of the appeal points ( or the counter argument to one of the appeal points ) may turn on an interpretation of a case in which the judge concerned was a participant advancing certain key arguments.

    If that was the case, and there was debate about the exact terms of that case or its significance — then it may be the case that the learned Judge took the view that he should recuse himself as he would effectively be being asked to rule on his own case.

    I do not know if this is what happened but am merely suggesting that this is one possible explanation.

    The outcome of this will be very interesting though — and potentially be very damaging for some.

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  41. Campbellsmoney

    Campbellsmoney


    Regarding arrestments

    In order for an arrestment to have any point whatsoever, there has to be money , or a right to money.

    Usually what is arrested is funds in a bank account, but technically, what an arrestment arrests is an “obligation to account”. That is because a bank account is actually an obligation, on the part of the bank, to account to its customer for the amount that is standing to credit in the account. But it doesn’t have to be a bank account that is arrested.

    If Party A owes Party B £100 under a contract, then Party C can arrest that obligation to account “in the hands of Party A” as part of a court action where Party C is suing Party B.

    Now, prior to yesterday was there an obligation to account for funds anywhere that was capable of being arrested?

    Insolvency does things to arrestments. If an arrestment is put on in the period of 60 days prior to a liquidation, the arrestment is completely cut down and is of no effect. The position with administrations is not so clear. The moratorium in administration means that no-one may “commence or continue” legal process against a company in administration (without the consent of the administrator or leave of the court). Quite whether this means an arrestment must be released is not (so far as I am aware) certain as a matter of law. My feeling is that the better view is that such an arrestment would have to be released if placed in the period of 60 days prior to an administration.

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  42. weescotsman

    weescotsman


    Anyone else unable to access the podcast via the RSS feed ? I don’t want to install Itunes if at all possible as I’m not an Apple fan……. 🙄

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  43. ecobhoy


    broganrogantrevinoandhogan says:
    February 25, 2014 at 10:09 am

    @BRTH – Well that was well-worth waiting 12 months for 😆

    Great insights into the FTTT Decision and Poon’s unchallenged dissent. From memory as well as as being scathing of the evidence she clearly ‘saw’ things as how they actually were in real life rather the contrived world created to avoid taxation.

    I am sure the legal climate has changed since the two ‘Duffers’ who seemed to have gone to sleep at the original hearing as soon as HMRC declared that the ‘Trusts’ weren’t shams. The final determination of the AAM case has certainly widened the HMRC wiggle-room.

    And, as I have commented frequently, the failure by ‘The Duffers’ to dismantle Poon’s Opinion and attack the legal argument she made was inexplicable to me at the time. It remains inexplicable. However the care and diligence that Poon brought to the party was invaluable and not least her observations on the appelants and their evidence.

    But she also appears to have actually read the voluminous productions in the FTTT and also based her Opinion on that evidence and again there was no demurral on her conclusions by the ‘legal experts’.

    The only thing that worries me about the whole issue is whether, if referred back to the FTTT, would it again require to be heard by ‘The Duffers’. That rings alarm bells in my mind as I have no faith in their legal competency as evidenced by their majority Decision which IMO has never held water.

    However BRTH – depending on which way the UTT or possibly FTTT decides do you think that HMRC or the Murray camp – would continue the appeal process to a higher level. I can see HMRC being prepared to go all the way but will Murray or is the bank the one that is funding the costs which could determine the decision.

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  44. Gym Trainer


    weescotsman says:
    February 25, 2014 at 10:41 am
    2 0 Rate This

    Anyone else unable to access the podcast via the RSS feed ? I don’t want to install Itunes if at all possible as I’m not an Apple fan……

    Certainly worked for me last evening.

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  45. manandboy


    From click to page up was 3 minutes and one second for me just now.

    I’ve waited far longer for a bus, train or taxi,

    but on a computer,

    that’s ‘ I’ll do something else meantime’ stuff.

    May I just register a huge debt of thanks and appreciation

    to those covering the UTT court case,

    including those on here, but not in court.

    Not forgetting the Imran case.

    In both instances, to my mind, doing what TSFM does best.

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  46. manandboy


    My comment took 6 minutes and 2 seconds from click to on the page.

    Whatever the cause, the effect is denial of service.

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  47. thequay


    Been away from the site for a long time but prompted by twitter to look in again to read John Clarke`s report from the UTTT. Glad I did as he did a great job. A bonus to find BRTH`s views at 10.09 today.

    Excellent stuff from both gents. And others too of course.

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  48. Bryce Curdy


    ecobhoy 8:52 am – interesting comments and I agree with most. You are correct that it is obviously speculative at present and also that are so many other plots and subplots. I personally believe in the event of a decision in favour of HMRC that oldco’s potential right of appeal should not prevent the honours being challenged in the meantime. I would also disagree that the existing item 12 and a challenge following a favourable UTT are mutually exclusive.

    I’ll try and find the time to put some flesh on the bones of my own views, and if I was able to float your boat would welcome the forensic skills you have displayed during your work about the land deals.

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  49. Bryce Curdy


    broganrt&h 10:09 am — absolutely fantastic post. Only one question. Why did HMRC make the ultimately crucial concession?

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  50. Bryce Curdy


    ecobhoy 11:20 – there was some speculation that there was an elaborate sting in place as a victory in the higher court would carry more clout than at a FTTT level. I always thought that was fanciful but many believed otherwise. And your question about whether the Murray group would appeal an unfavourable decision intrigues me too.

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