The Vice Closes

News in The Times of Celtic’s letter to Stewart Regan regarding that club’s wish for a Judicial Review into the SFA’s handing of the Rangers EBT crisis increases the pressure on Regan considerably.

The SFA Chief Executive’s ill-advised spat with Pie and Bovril editor David McDonald this week may even be a sign he is devolving, and at least it demonstrates that, despite Twitter disaster after Twitter disaster, Regan doesn’t learn readily from his mistakes.

Also, it appears from the contents of Celtic’s letter that their target in terms of a Judicial Review has been the SFA, and not the SPFL, all along. That chimes with developments as I understand them elsewhere in this process.

Even though it now appears that Celtic and a fan group are seeking a Judicial Review it is by no means certain that it will ever happen.

Having a sound legal basis for it, obtaining standing, and having a reasonable chance of victory are all variables in the equation, and each has to be weighed carefully before progress can be made.

Having said that, if the reason any Judicial Review fails is because of that lawyer-speak we have been subjected to of late, the SFA may yet come to believe that hiding behind legalese is neither in football’s best interests, nor in the interests of the individuals at the SFA who are under fire.

The bottom line as they, is this;

Rangers did acquire an unfair advantage over others by their use of EBTs. The SPL themselves were flabbergasted when Sandy Bryson proclaimed his eponymous ‘imperfectly registered’ doctrine. They all know – everyone in every board room in the country, in every SFA department, in every SPFL office – that cheating took place.

In fact and in spirit.

The jaws of the vice are tightening as we speak. The fans group who are building a case for a Judicial Review give its handle a wee turn every day, and the leak of the Celtic letter to Regan reduces his wiggle room even further.

It is surely now just a matter of time before this ridiculous and infamous chapter in Scotland’s football history is dealt with.

Of course people will accuse anyone who is a Celtic fan, or an Aberdeen fan, or a Dundee United fan (clubs whose rivalry with Rangers is keenest) of partisanship in this affair. That is mere deflection and bears no scrutiny whatsoever.

As a Celtic fan myself, I can’t deny that I am angry at what took place between (at least) 2000 and 2009, but does that mean that as a Celtic fan I have to recuse myself from having an opinion?

And as a former employee of the club, am I excluded from any conversation about the integrity of our game because the club at the centre of the scandal is Rangers? Pull the other one.

SFM, and the wider fans’ movement has been consistently appalled by this sorry chapter over the last six years, but is no kangaroo court. We are not asking for conclusions to be drawn without due process. We see unexplained regulatory anomalies in the processes at Ibrox and Hampden which have never to our knowledge been addressed. We simply wish that they should be.

Further, if my club was at the heart of this nonsense, I think I’d be incandescent with rage that they had allowed me to revel in the joy of winning all those trophies, only to have the achievements cheapened and nullified by their mismanagement. I would regard that as the ultimate betrayal (and Celtic fans can give you a list of club betrayals as long as Mao’s march).

I’d be thinking that those same business practices that apparently had given us so much, had actually caused to fail catastrophically. Having taken delight in the honours, I would have to accept the consequences too.

The SFA, by their corrupt approach to the demise of Rangers, have denied Rangers fans the catharsis that they could benefit from. In fact the authorities’ refusal to deal with the situation in terms of their own rules it has fostered a siege mentality to exist at Ibrox.

This in turn has enabled a series of charlatans, including the current board, to drive the bus in the direction of a brick wall for the last five years.

After the phenomenally successful share issue (something that can’t happen again whilst King is in charge for regulatory reasons), the new Rangers were given seed capital which should have flowered by now with the regular watering of their huge fan base. That £22m, which should have seen the club competing at the top by now has gone, and the potential which existed in 2012 has been diminished severely.

It’s no fun being a fan of Scottish football in the midst of this. But we make a fundamental error if we think that Rangers fans are enjoying it. They are victims in this too, and they have been defrauded by the Murray-era shenanigans, and the circus performers who have been on the scene since then – every bit as much as the rest of us.

The honourable thing (no laughing at the back) for the SFA to do would be to agree to Celtic’s request for a Judicial Review.

If the pressure is turned up another notch or three on the SFA, then maybe we will all get closure, and perhaps finally we can move on.

Big Pink

Big Pink

Big Pink is John Cole; a former schoolteacher based in the West of Scotland, He is also a print and broadcast journalist who is engaged in the running of SFM . Former gigs include Newstalk 106, the Celtic View, and Channel67. A Celtic fan, he is also the voice of our podcast initiative.

577 Comments
  1. Homunculus

    Homunculus


    NAWLITE

    SEPTEMBER 21, 2017 at 22:17

    Tom English is suggesting that “If SPFL really wants transparency then let them press ahead with their own review of how the old SPL acted in this saga.” 

    ——————————————————————–

    The SPFL is just a renamed SPL, with more shareholders.

    It was incorporated on 13th May 1997 and has company number SC175364

    It would be a review of themselves.

    He knows that already.

    The Chairman, Murdoch McLennan, who recently announced that the SPFL did not support a review was appointed on 1st August 2017.

    Presumably he was brought in to “look to the future” and move on from the cheating past. 

    The SPFL (SPL as was) no more want a proper review than the SFA. 

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  2. tayred

    tayred


    TONYSEPTEMBER 21, 2017 at 18:08 30 23
    TEARSOFJOYBut to the meat of the matter, that irresistible force : sectarian singing. The hypocracy that surrounds Celtic on this matter is staggering and the number of CFC fans that take the moral high ground on this matter equally so. CFC fan sing pro IRA songs – we all know it, we’ve all heard it. So let’s stop pretending otherwise.

    IRA songs are not sectarian

    I was going to ignore this message, but then I saw the amount of support it got from the SFM community. I was appalled. Its not a sectarian song apparently, and perhaps strictly speaking it isn’t, but to outsiders looking in it is every bit as repugnant as anything that TRFC fans (or indeed any other group of fans) may wish to sing.

    I admitted perviously, I’m not an expert on the Irish politics. The IRA may have noble beginnings, standing up to the oppressor, one mans terrorist is another freedom fighter etc etc. But, as someone who had young family in that shopping centre in Manchester that particular day, I find it incomprehensible that anyone would believes glorifying the IRA is something that it is ok to sing about at a football match – a football match for gods sake.

    The song may not be strictly sectarian for the pedants amongst us (and this site thankfully has many pedants pointing out the wrongs of the world in a more useful way), but to those looking at Celtic & Rangers from the outside it is impossible to separate the IRA/UDF or whoever from sectarianism and henceforth that song to the rest of us most certainly IS sectarian. Stop the whataboutery, stop the hate and bile returning to your support. If you need a target aim for Regan and the rest of the SFA or the Scottish media who are disgustingly wilfully helping to fan the flames of bigotry by turning their collective backs on the issue once again.

    If Celtic and Rangers want to have any thoughts of joining the English leagues, then they will have to rid themselves of this baggage once and for all. Until then you most certainly won’t be welcome. But then “nobody likes us and we don’t care”. This stuff is not welcome at any of the other 40 odd grounds around Scotland, the lack of it over the past few years has been a joy – please don’t let it come back.

    I know you CFC fans all hate the term – but two cheeks. By re-opening that once forgotten song book you are becoming one with your hate filled brothers from the other side of town. If you can’t see that then we might as well give up now.

    My family walked out of Manchester that day unscathed thankfully. There are enough problems in this world without letting this nonsense get a firm foothold back in our society. 

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  3. LUGOSI

    LUGOSI


    As the SPFL perform an unexplained backward somersault on their previously stated position one is left to ponder on where we go from here.
    Auldheid is, as always, performing heroics keeping us up to speed in general terms and to him I am grateful.
    However, no matter which angle the matter is approached from or whichever aspect of the matter is found most egregious; be it the tax cheating, the lying, the concealment of documents, the inaction of authorities, the denials, the deflection, the spin, the fobbing off, the impact on other clubs, the extraction of fans’ money under false pretences, the Permarage, the ongoing sectarianism, racism and bigotry, the casual disregard for imperfectly registered players, the tolerance of certain individuals anywhere near the administration of a football business (other disgraces are available), certain things keep coming up.
    At the risk of underthinking I view the matter as nothing more than a jigsaw puzzle. It’s not even a particularly difficult jigsaw. The only problem is that we’ve been trying to complete the jigsaw while a number of the jigsaw pieces have been deliberately withheld from us.
    One of the pieces that is missing is that while the caravan has kept rolling the barking of certain dogs has been conspicuously absent.
    I don’t think I have seen a reference to, far less heard a word from, Nicholas Stewart or Charles Flint in the last four and a half years.
    These gentlemen it will be recalled, or perhaps some wish you would not recall, comprised two-thirds of the Commission chaired by Lord Nimmo Smith. It will be recalled that the Commission Decision on 28th February 2013 was unanimous and accordingly none of the three Commission members displayed the testicular fortitude shown by Dr Heidi Poon in proceedings in another place.
    The question remains; no matter where we are is there anything to stop the three Commission members, all of whom hold/held the rank of Queen’s Counsel, from being asked to provide an Opinion on what they were told then and what we know now?
    If they want a Fee pay it; it’ll be buttons in the scheme of the shape of things to come.
    The learned gentlemen will know that one potential outcome, whether they wish to be amenable now or not, is that they may be cited to appear at a Judicial Review and be obliged to give evidence under oath when the same questions can be asked but this time the answers will have to be the truth, nothing but the truth and that oft overlooked part of the oath, the whole truth.
    It might only be one piece of the jigsaw but it would put a lot of the “Lord Nimmo Smith said…” myth to bed.

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  4. Cluster One

    Cluster One


    Tom English is suggesting that “If SPFL really wants transparency (Insert LMAO emoji)
    No they don’t really want transparency,and it should be the first thing on any journalists list to find out why.

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  5. upthehoops


    CLUSTER ONESEPTEMBER 22, 2017 at 09:53 
     

    Tom English is suggesting that “If SPFL really wants transparency (Insert LMAO emoji)No they don’t really want transparency,and it should be the first thing on any journalists list to find out why.

    I am sure many journalists actually would love to go after this entire affair. The reasons behind why they are not allowed to is the real problem.  I know someone closely related to a news journalist at a major outlet. Many times articles about Rangers have been rejected by Editors because an equally damning article about Celtic can’t be found.  It truly is a pathetic state of affairs when there MUST be a negative story about a football club operated properly within the law, before the truth can be written about one that isn’t. 

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  6. Cluster One

    Cluster One


    Real journalists would print why they are not allowed to  go after this entire affair and the reasons behind why they are not allowed to go after it.If you have to be allowed to go after this entire affair, they are journalists only in name.
    The reasons behind why they are not allowed to and why they allow it is the real problem.

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  7. woodstein

    woodstein


    http://nilbymouth.org/what-is-sectarianism/

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  8. Zilch


    Once again, and with deep regret…

    I strongly agree that there is no place for songs about the IRA, the UDA or any other source of armed conflict at a football match.

    The question is how do we persuade people to move on from it?

    If all you can do is tell Celtic fans that they are sectarian for supporting a political organisation then we are going to get nowhere.
     
    It may seem like semantics to you, but it is at the very heart of people’s identity and political conscience.
     
    It is essential that we have accuracy and balance in any solution to this.

    You will not persuade Celtic fans to stop singing IRA songs by complaining they are sectarian – simply because those singing them do not believe that is accurate.

    You might have better luck telling them to stop singing them because they are political and their reference to conflict is unwelcome at a sporting event.  That is accurate.

    Of course, you then need to have balance. If the problem is politics or glorifying violence, then let’s properly target that.

    So, for example, no wearing of poppies on football shirts on the pitch. The poppy started off as a symbol of remembrance for war dead (including members of my own family) but has been politically hijacked and is now used to glorify the British Armed Forces – a prime player in the conflict we are trying to move away from. In the catalogue of innocents killed in that conflict, there is plenty of scope to criticise the British Army too.

    I also think we need to question the singing of Flower of Scotland at the national games. Don’t get me wrong – I love singing that song and belt it out with all the rest – but I am questioning myself on whether it is really appropriate now? Sending Edward home again involved a fair amount of bloodshed and death and in these troubled times, how much do we need to drag up the atavistic past?

    If we want to find a solution to this problem, we have to do more than just complain about it. We need to find real solutions that are fair and recognise the legitimacy of different political views.

    As in any conflict resolution situation, you need to make steps towards those you have previously fought to find peace. Dealing in absolutes gets us nowhere.

    As I said previously, I think there are plenty of people here that want to see this problem go. To do so we have to move out of our own comfort zones and do a bit of digging into the nature of the conflict and of our own bias and prejudices.

    The alternative is we carry on as previously. The football authorities and the SMSM  seem perfectly content to do this. With some openness and goodwill, I think we could do better.

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  9. Auldheid


    Easy Jambo
    Something to chew over there. Thanks.
    Celtic represent their shareholders in this matter and it is Celtic the SFA have to satisfy first in order for Celtic to satisfy shareholders that the SFA are squeaky clean in all aspects of their handling of the issue from 2011 to date.
    Your suggestion of involving those shareholders direct, whatever the result, would send out a solid transparency and accountability message to the SFA as in how it can and should be delivered.

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  10. Auldheid


    nawliteSeptember 21, 2017 at 22:17

    Tom English is one of 13 journalists sent hard copy by SFM contributors in 2014 of evidence that could not have been presented to LNS for him to be able  say there was ” no question of dishonesty corporate or individual” regarding ebts and side letters. The evidence screamed the opposite.
    If Tom never received it he can maybe clear himself by saying so, but I think he has read the Tax Justice Network report on the matter, but if it has flaws has not pointed them out. Now is his chance.
    More significant though is the simple question that the SFA/SPFL and SMSM are avoiding and that is
    Does Tom (and fellow journos) think RFC acted dishonestly since 2000 and have the enquiries based on all evidence now available made that clear, or have they simply been an attempt at avoiding that uncomfortable truth?
    If so, why the desperate need to avoid admitting RFC broke the rules and with it the trust in Scottish football in order to gain financial and sporting advantage?
    What is the worst that could happen after a few resignations?  
    Who is so unsure of their own place in the grand scheme of things that they depend on “trophies won” in dubious circumstances to reinforce their sense of worth?
    Perhaps too deep for Tom although Graeme Speirs might want to think about it; so for Tom the simple question is.
    Do you think RFC have acted honestly and in good faith towards the rest of Scottish football from 2000 and if not how did they get away with it?

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  11. Auldheid


    Zilch

    My last word on the subject of songs was in Feb 2009. I think the approach advocated remains valid.

    How To Tell If a Song Is Sectarian  
    Written by Auldyin   
    Saturday, 21 February 2009
    Every now and then a songs debate flares up in Celtic Cyberspace and the one thing you can be sure of is no agreement will emerge. This will always be so unless there is a set of criteria to go by.
    Examining The Billy Boys offers one set of criteria for a sectarian song in that the words “up to our knees in fenian blood” offers violence to a person of an identifiable religious faith either directly or in this case by inference, fenian = Catholic.
    If you take the Soldiers Song or The Fields that are deemed acceptable by Celtic if I understand it correctly. The thing about these songs is that they are “inward aimed” or “centred on self” celebrating that sense of self.
     
    Sectarianism is defined as ” bigotry, discrimination, prejudice or hatred arising from attaching importance to perceived differences between subdivisions within a group, such as between different denominations of a religion or the factions of a political movement.
    The key words are sub divisions WITHIN a group. The group involved with The Fields or Soldiers is a single group where no sub division exists.
    For a song to be sectarian it has to project OUTWARD from that group ideas or beliefs that the group wish to impose on others or to express distaste or hatred for those OUTSIDE the group.
    The key words are inward celebration and outward projection. The first cannot by definition be sectarian but the latter depending on the words can.
    So why not use those criteria to at least draw a line?
    Now on what is objectionable to others: songs that are inward celebrating might cause offence to others but they are the ones taking offence, it is not being offered to or aimed at them. It is something intolerant in them that sparks the offence taken.
    If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, why not offence? We as Celtic supporters are not responsible if others take offence at our songs of inward celebration. It is only when outward projection as in say add ons occurs that sectarianism might apply. These criteria would apply to Rangers songs as well as our own. This debate has been going on for ever. You would think someone would have penned official criteria from usage by now to give guidance to the support. Note criteria is NOT a song list. Folk can use the criteria to look at what they sing and maybe think about why they are singing what they are. Inward celebration of belief/faith/culture/tradition or outward projection of those things on to others. Question the motivation, using the criteria, not the words of the song.

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  12. tayred

    tayred


    Zilch,

    My point wasn’t to open a debate on what is and what isn’t sectarian – quite frankly thats a side argument – if its offensive I don’t care if its sectarian or not.  But to question why it appears to be ok with some to sing about the IRA, and why the excuse appears to be because it “isn’t a sectarian song”.

    Be it sectarian or not, there is no place for this at a football match in any normal society. It depresses me that so many are willing to accept this situation, and as mentioned elsewhere it seems incongruous that CFC fans are so ready to point the finger at TRFC fans whilst watching some of their own fans start the slide down that slippery path once again.

    I’ll also add here that my own teams fans sing songs that may be considered by some offensive and I really wish they didn’t, but meantime you will never hear me defending those fans that are singing them.

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  13. upthehoops


    I just saw someone mention on another forum whether the press release for the forthcoming Rangers accounts will be nominated for a top fiction award, such as the Nobel Prize in Literature. After all, didn’t they say a loss was a profit the last time?

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  14. StevieBC

    StevieBC


    Now that the majority of fans [?], the SFA, the SPFL and CFC have clarified their ‘final’ positions…

    We seem to be at stalemate – if only temporarily?

    Although there is a wide spectrum of motivations involved, there is actually one thing we all should be able to agree with;
    “We do want to move on.”

    Don’t think that would be disputed by anyone?
    To remove all the negativity, bad faith, suspicion, ill feeling, etc. from the Scottish senior game would be an ideal starting point from which to reinvigorate the future development of the national game.

    And to state the bleedin’ obvious: we all want the same end result: it’s just that different stakeholders have different opinions on how to get there.
    The fans must be meaningfully engaged to bridge the yawning gap with the administrators.
    IMO, it’s not rocket science.

    Whilst a JR might be the only option to enforce access to the details of the Hampden shenanigans in recent years, it won’t expedite reconciliation anytime soon – and ‘moving on’ will just be kicked further down the road.
    But at the moment, IMHO, a JR looks like the only hope ? 

    [I have ignored the SMSM in the above as they are not decision makers as such – but have proved to be an unhelpful, sh!t stirrer on the sidelines – and whose relevance and influence is fast approaching the gutter anyway. 222222 ]

     

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  15. Dunderheid


    Tayred
     
    I’m afraid I think that your views on this are straight-down-the-middle support for encroachment on the right to freedom of speech.
     
    We already have laws in Scotland to deal with (inter alia) breach of the peace, racist or sectarian behaviour and the like.  We even have the damnable (and incoherent) OBAF Act.
     
    Although you’re singling out songs referencing IRA/UDA/UVF and similar, what you’re actually asking for is that songs you yourself (and, I would accept, perhaps many thousands of others) don’t like to be proscribed.
     
    As you rightly assert, there are scores of songs sung by fans of almost every club which will be objectionable to their rivals or, indeed, to neutrals.
     
    To take the point a wee bit further: here’s a wee list of songs sung by visiting fans at Celtic Park which I myself (a match-going Celtic supporter) strongly dislike …  but (while I lament those fans’ apparent need to sing such ‘songs’) which I understand and accept those fans’ have a right to sing:
     
    Jimmy Savile, he’s one of your own
    In your Glasgow slums
    The sash my father wore
    I was born under a Union Jack
    Big Jock knew
     
    Just for balance, here’s a selection of other ditties that are often heard, which seem to break existing laws (not counting any which may [or may not] fall foul of the OBAF Act), yet against which no action is ever taken:

    The Famine Song
    The Billy Boys
    UDA all the way (Eff the Pope and the IRA)
    No Pope of Rome (no chapels to sadden my eye, etc)

    Living in a democratic country which enjoys considerable freedom of speech, I’m strongly against supporting any tack that would lead us down the OBAF route. 

    But I would quite like to see the exiting laws being enforced.

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  16. bigboab1916


    LUGOSISeptember 22, 2017 at 09:10 However, no matter which angle the matter is approached from or whichever aspect of the matter is found most egregious; be it the tax cheating, the lying, the concealment of documents,

    What would you think would be the case if this was in the workplace you have an incident you leave get set for say a tribunal and the last minute you are advised to settle and you do. Howver it materialises that you were not provided with relevant document there was as you say concealment, what do you think the outcome of this would be, do you think the the Union would be onto it in a flash,
    so where is the players union to claim back lost revenue for players due to the cheating and concealment the Union is Fraser Wishart talk about conflict of interest.

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  17. Shyster Flywheel Shyster


    EASYJAMBOSEPTEMBER 20, 2017 at 01:12 
    In parallel, a poll on Hearts most popular forum, JambosKickback, over the past couple of days has produced the following responses.For a review 455 – 80.82%Against a review 31 – 5.51%Don’t care 77 – 13.68%So I’m reassured that Hearts fans remain strongly in favour of a review, whatever the club Board chooses to do or not do. 
    ————————————————————————————-
    All that poll highlights is that 80.82% of JKB members are strongly in favour of a review.  Not necessarily representative of Hearts fans as a whole.   It equates to around 0.03% of Hearts’ ST holders, although I suspect that a good number of JKB members do not have STs.
    Personally, I am all for Mrs Budge broadcasting her views on this but as you say unlikely before TRFC visit Murrayfield.

    Flywheel

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  18. grecian urn


    I cannot believe the amount of TDs for Tayreds post. and this from a supposed non partisan site encompassing supporters of ALL Scottish football clubs. I have done my little bit to try and support SFM financially since its inception, but, no more, I,m out. 

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  19. tayred

    tayred


    DUNDERHEID, no. The law doesn’t come into it. It has already proved to be utterly useless at doing anything about it because its unworkable. Freedom of speech is valuable and should be guarded. No problems with that. 

    But here we are in a chat site full of intelligent people. People it seems that are quite happy for certain chants to be sung, despite complaining like hell when “the other side” gets off with it week-in week-out. I just don’t understand it! The one line answer “its not sectarian” floored me, and I’ll wager most outside the South-West of Scotland won’t understand it either.

    Listing songs other clubs sing that are just as objectionable is fine – I don’t like them, nor understand why perfectly sensible people find them amusing. But while TRFC are belting out their well known ditties and CFC fans bring out their IRA songbook, its very hard to tackle the ignorance in songs about the economics of housing in urban environments! The Jimmy Saville related songs are quite simply revolting. 

    Anyway. Its a pointless argument as it sadly seems too ingrained in people from all the big to be solved anytime soon. Have a good weekend folks.

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  20. Allyjambo

    Allyjambo


    SHYSTER FLYWHEEL SHYSTERSEPTEMBER 22, 2017 at 16:00

    I tend to find it amusing, the way polls drawn from an internet based community can be written off as not being representative and therefor meaningless, for where else can a general consensus be drawn from and displayed? While all poll results should be treated with care, and suspicion, when major decisions might be based on them, an overwhelming result from a group of people united by the club they support must surely be a reasonable indication of how like-minded people might view a subject that impinges heavily on that shared interest. 80% one way or the other is a huge consensus that could be moved against, quite considerably, in a wider example, but still remain resounding! Of course, much more telling is the fact that less than 6% interested enough to vote were against a review.

    It will/would become more significant if similar polls, taken from similar fan sites/groups across the country, returned similar results.

    One thing, can you tell me what the significance of being an ST holder is when valuing a supporter’s opinion? I’ve been a pay-at-the-gate supporter for most of my life, a ST holder for ten years, and now, living too far from Tynecastle to make more than the odd game, an FOH member almost from the off (my name is on the FOH top). I find it a bit elitist to suggest anyone who supports the Hearts, or any other club, has an opinion of things affecting their club that is of any less value than anyone elses, particularly if that support is 100% behind the Hearts (in this case) with no sympathy for any other, no matter who that other club might be.

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  21. wottpi


    TAYREDSEPTEMBER 22, 2017 at 16:56
    Ingrained is the right word. I’d maybe say addicted.
    Perhaps we should be asking would people’s lives be any less rich and full of meaning  if they didn’t sing certain songs?
    What is it that makes people want to praise bigoted knife gangs and bombers, revel in the tragedy that is child abuse and shout obscenities at  two old age pensioners,who are forced to wear funny costumes in the course of their duties.

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  22. ernie


    You’ll just have to take my word for it but the entrenchment shown on here in the “songs” debate is hard to believe outwith the Glasgow goldfish bowl.  It’s disingenuous to mess around with what the problem is, it’s not the pedantic meaning of words, the law, the police or the football authorities.  It’s not even really about the fans and whataboutery only entrenches it further.  The problem is that Celtic or Rangers could distance themselves from all the sh*t any time they want and they choose not to.

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  23. RyanGosling

    RyanGosling


    Auldheid,

    ”Now on what is objectionable to others: songs that are inward celebrating might cause offence to others but they are the ones taking offence, it is not being offered to or aimed at them. It is something intolerant in them that sparks the offence taken.”

    By your criteria above, it would be perfectly acceptable for a group of fans to turn up at a football ground singing “Ode to Isis” and as long as it was inward looking, it would be the fault of the rest of the crowd if they were offended. 

    I usually read your posts with interest and respect your views, but I find this stance ridiculous. 

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  24. John Clark


    StevieBCSeptember 22, 2017 at 15:21
    ‘….But at the moment, IMHO, a JR looks like the only hope ? ‘
    _____________
    I’ve wondered off and on, StevieBC, whether any individual shareholder of Celtic plc would be entitled to go to the police with what he believed to be  information supporting an allegation that an actual crime had been perpetrated ( to wit, the abuse of power by the governing body of a ‘trade association’ in conspiring with one member of that association to defraud another member of that same association of many millions of pounds?

    And would the police be obliged to investigate, and , if thought appropriate, refer the matter to the Procurator Fiscal for prosecution in the criminal courts?

    I would like to see that approach through the mechanisms of criminal procedure adopted first.

    In the ordinary way, if ,as many believe, there is clear documentary evidence that shows that the SFA, fully aware of the true state of RFC(IL)’s ‘tax debt payable and demanded to be paid’ situation nevertheless deliberately worked to ensure that RFC(IL) was illicitly granted a licence to have a crack at the CL,the police  could not simply ignore such evidence and such allegation.

    If investigation followed, and led to charges and prosecution, and the charges were proved, then job done by the State.

    If the police refused to investigate, or if investigation concluded that there was insufficient evidence that a crime had been committed, or if prosecution failed to result in conviction, then resort could be had to Judicial Review of the decision to award RFC(IL) the licence as having been a decision arrived at in contradiction of the plain facts before the deciding body ,and as abuse of, or mistaken use of, their administrative powers under their Articles etc.

    It would be hard to see how the original decision could be allowed to stand.

    And a Judicial Review of the LNS decision on the ‘no sporting advantage’ might usefully be sought as well( separately, of course, as having been made by another decision-making body)

    Perhaps the Res2 guys have considered all this, and ruled out the ‘reporting of alleged crime’.

    I just wish I had the savvy to prepare a report and assemble the ‘evidence’ to approach the Police myself!

    View Comment
  25. Homunculus

    Homunculus


    RYANGOSLING
    SEPTEMBER 22, 2017 at 19:21

    By your criteria above, it would be perfectly acceptable for a group of fans to turn up at a football ground singing “Ode to Isis” 

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

    I genuinely thought you were speaking about the Egyptian Goddess, responsible for love healing etc, and thought what’s the problem with that.

    Then I realised you were probably talking about ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) and saw your point. One man’s terrorist etc.

    Personally I think the whole thing is a squirrel and am more interested in what people are trying to hide by bringing this particular old chestnut up right now. I can only assume it’s to take fan’s eye away from the review long enough for it to fizzle out. 

    What’s next, the head of the SFA publicly describing Celtic as “tiresome”, or are we moving on from Peat to Petrie doing it. 

    View Comment
  26. Cluster One

    Cluster One


    On the13 March 2017, the takeover Appeal Board published its decision upholding ruling of the Takeover Panel Executive and of the hearings committee of the Takeover panel that Mr David Cunningham king acted in concert with Messrs George Letham,George Taylor and Douglas Park to accuire more than 30% of the voting rights in rangers and in consequence had incurred an obligation under the takeover code……etc.
    http://www.thetakeoverpanel.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/2017_8.pdf
    ———————-
    N O T I C E
     
    Opening of the Legal Year
     
    Practitioners will wish to be aware that the ceremony for the Opening of the Legal Year will commence at 10.00am in Court No. 1 on the morning of Monday, 25 September 2017.
    This will comprise of a short address by the Lord President and a formal introduction of the new Queen’s Counsel to the court. A full bench will sit for the occasion.
     
    Practitioners, court staff and others interested in attending are very welcome and will be accommodated as space permits.
     
    Thereafter, the Annual Service to mark the beginning of the Winter Term will be held in St Giles’ Cathedral, commencing at 10.45am. A short reception in Parliament Hall to mark the Opening of the Legal Year in Scotland will follow directly after.
     
    Court business due to be held in Edinburgh on 25 September will commence from 11.30am on this date, unless specified otherwise.
    ————————-
    A small question if i may
    Now that  the Opening of the Legal Year will commence at 10.00am in Court No. 1 on the morning of Monday, 25 September 2017.will we see any movement in the Takeover panels initiated proceedings in the court of sessions seeking an order requiring Mr king to comply with its rulings?

    View Comment
  27. John Clark


    Cluster OneSeptember 22, 2017 at 21:01
    ‘…..will we see any movement in the Takeover panels initiated proceedings in the court of session../
    ___________
    It will be all eyes on the Rolls of court of Session, C1 ,daily from now on!
    ( I suppose we would have heard if the Takeover Panel had changed its mind and withdrawn its motion?)

    View Comment
  28. Auldheid


    Ryan Gosling.
    If such an event were to happen that is where motivation would come into play.
    Few would reckon it was not to offend given no connection whatsover to the history of either club.
    Granted ascribing motivation can be difficult but in the instance you suggest few would think it wasnt to offend.
    My point stands. In the absence of criteria how can any judgement be made?
    It’s time folk took personal responsibility for what offends them and looked into why. That should  include the possibility that no offense is intended whether it be the singing of The Sash or Soldiers are We.
    There is a word for that and it’s called tolerance. 
    Not enough of it around.

    View Comment
  29. Bogs Dollox


    HomunculusSeptember 22, 2017 at 20:24 
    RYANGOSLING SEPTEMBER 22, 2017 at 19:21
    By your criteria above, it would be perfectly acceptable for a group of fans to turn up at a football ground singing “Ode to Isis” 
    ================================
    I genuinely thought you were speaking about the Egyptian Goddess, responsible for love healing etc, and thought what’s the problem with that.
    Then I realised you were probably talking about ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) and saw your point. One man’s terrorist etc.
    Personally I think the whole thing is a squirrel and am more interested in what people are trying to hide by bringing this particular old chestnut up right now. I can only assume it’s to take fan’s eye away from the review long enough for it to fizzle out. 
    What’s next, the head of the SFA publicly describing Celtic as “tiresome”, or are we moving on from Peat to Petrie doing it. 
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    The squirel is of course the equilvance of the Rangers v Celtic singing and saying both are sectarian. I make no judgement on that.

    My question is that if the law of the land is being broken in football grounds week in week out why the Scottish Govt and Police Scotland are doing nothing.

    Now its an easy one to explain Nicola’s position given her constituency but why are Police Scotland sitting on their hands when there is clear Hate Crime/Anti Irish racism being belted out at Ibrox and away grounds every week.

    Can Bobby Madden and Hugh Keevins adjudicate on that one please on SSB next week.

    View Comment
  30. Auldheid


    John Clark
    One of the Res12 boys has long held this view that the Serious Fraud Office should be involved but we had to go through the gears but if the CompOff investigation concludes that a) RFC lied to obtain a licence and b) the SFA were complicit in a fraud (although they will be arguing the were negligent if a fraud charge were brought) then the SFOwould be the way to go but it’s not just small shareholders who would claim to be defrauded although they led the charge.
    In such circumstances of fraud being proved I would hope Dermott Desmond, who has had to fork out a good few bob since 2000 and accept much criticism from 2004 , might decide the SFO is the way to go.
    Now that would attract attention.

    View Comment
  31. Auldheid


    If the adverts do not get in the way this is an excellent read from James Forrest on why an enquiry into 5 separate issues is essential. 
    https://thecelticblog.com/2017/09/blogs/here-are-just-some-of-the-reasons-an-inquiry-into-the-sfa-is-needed/amp/ 
    On the UEFA licence aspect RFC signed a Declaration that allowed SFA to obtain info from HMRC during 2011 and on the matter of preplanning for Rangers demise, Gary Withey had a chat with Rod McKenzie on the issues and hurdles, subsequently shared with Doncaster, in early October 2011.
    It is no wonder an enquiry is being resisted. 

    View Comment
  32. John Clark


    AuldheidSeptember 22, 2017 at 23:40
    ‘…but if the CompOff investigation concludes that a) RFC lied to obtain a licence and b) the SFA were complicit in a fraud (although they will be arguing the were negligent if a fraud charge were brought) then the .’
    ________
    Sadly,Auldheid, I think the SFA’s sudden readiness to refer the licence issue to the Compliance Officer is no more than anattempt to protect themselves , in SDM style , by saying  ‘we were lied to’, if the Compliance Officer were to find grounds to refer the matter to a Judicial Protocol tribunal.

    There is absolutely no way that it would be open to such Tribunal to consider whether the SFA were ‘complicit’. They will not be asked to do anything other than say whether Rangers lied.

    These guys are not stupid.

    They will not have put themselves at risk of going to jail!

    They will  bewail the fact that they were ‘duped’, apologise for not noticing that they were duped, and tell folk that they are powerless to take action against an entity in Liquidation!

    And that’s only if the compliance officer finds enough grounds to refer the matter to a Tribunal!

    And then only if the tribunal decides that Rangers did lie!

    We are supping with the devil, I fear, and cannot trust a word of what the SFA says.

    Or the SPFL either!

    There is unquestionably a whole dirty mess to be forensically examined.

    And attempts, feeble attempts, by the likes of Regan and certain university professors and the SMSM  and now MacLennan, to pretend that there is no mess, just a small query, is an assault on us all.

    Grave wrong has been done. Sporting ‘cheating’ on a scale far in excess of anything by the Lance Armstrongs has been, allegedly, perpetrated by the very people supposedly charged with ensuring that our sport was clean.

    We simply have to use every legitimate tool to bring that cheating into the light of day, and nail the cheats.

    And, if the evidence is there, jail them!

    View Comment
  33. tangoed

    tangoed


    HOMUNCULUSSEPTEMBER 22, 2017 at 20:24

    Personally I think the whole thing is a squirrel and am more interested in what people are trying to hide by bringing this particular old chestnut up right now.
    ==============================================
    Trying to hide their feelings most likely,it must be hard coming to the realisation that their clubs are now part of the corruption that’s taken hold of scottish football.

    View Comment
  34. John Clark


    AuldheidSeptember 23, 2017 at 00:07
    ‘….If the adverts do not get in the way…’
    __________
    I take it that that might possibly be an allusion to  my exasperation expressed some time ago when the feckin adverts ran across the screen and partially hid people’s posts!
    I have no objection to advertising per se, just to adverts that ran across the wee space that one posts in, instead of being confined to the margins!19

    View Comment
  35. HirsutePursuit


    Auldheid,

    Civil fraud
    Fraud can also feature in a civil context as a delict (or tort) allowing recovery of loss, for example where a party is induced to enter into a contract through fraudulent misrepresentation. As with criminal fraud, the false statement must be made with the relevant intention; however, unlike for the crime of fraud, recklessness or negligence is sufficient for civil fraud.


    https://www.pinsentmasons.com/PDF/Fraud%2520in%2520Scotland%2520(Pinsent%2520Masons).pdf

    My understanding of this is that if:
    1. A negligent or reckless statement is made with the intention of achieving an outcome that would not otherwise be achieved,
    and
    2. That negligent or reckless statement is untrue

    A civil fraud has occurred.

    So, for example,
    A licencing body is shown to be negligent or reckless in the process of assessing one of its licence applicants

    It knew or had good reason to suspect that the licence applicant had provided a false or misleading submission.

    It grants a licence and consequently negligently or recklessly informs the governing body that the licencee is fully qualified to take part in its competition.

    Participation in the competition provides the opportunity to earn significant financial benefit.

    A correctly qualified licence applicant is denied the opportunity to participate in the competition because its rightful place was taken by the incorrectly licenced participant. 

    These circumstances appear to constitute a civil fraud by the licensor against the potential participant (and its shareholders), correctly qualified for a licence but denied its legitimate place in the competition and the opportunity to earn a significant financial benefit.

    It would appear that the correctly licensed participant and its shareholders have suffered a loss that could be recovered from the licensing body – the perpetrator of the civil fraud.

    …as I understand it.

    View Comment
  36. Finloch


    AULDHEIDSEPTEMBER 23, 2017 at 00:07 If the adverts do not get in the way this is an excellent read from James Forrest on why an enquiry into 5 separate issues is essential. https://thecelticblog.com/2017/09/blogs/here-are-just-some-of-the-reasons-an-inquiry-into-the-sfa-is-needed/amp/ 
    —————————————————————————–
    I want to read James piece but the adverts make it impossible to just read the text and keep hijacking me.
    I couldn’t finish.

    For what its worth Big Pink, Tris I am also now finding the adverts on the SFM site more and more of an intrusion too.

    View Comment
  37. ernie


    And there we have it. Any criticism of Rangers and I’m a hater, taig etc. Any implied criticism of Celtic and I’m launching a squirrel and am part of the corrupt, anti Celtic Scottish football. Grow up FFS. 

    View Comment
  38. Cluster One

    Cluster One


    FINLOCHSEPTEMBER 23, 2017 at 07:29
    I want to read James piece but the adverts make it impossible to just read the text and keep hijacking me.I couldn’t finish.
    ————-
    I clicked on the link and i’m not getting any ADs. don’t know what i’m doing right,or wrong. I would copy paste but it is a very long good article,and don’t know if i would have permission to do so.

    View Comment
  39. tony

    tony


    CLUSTER ONE
    same here mate,not one ad,maybe james disabled them 

    View Comment
  40. Allyjambo

    Allyjambo


    I can’t believe that Bruno Alves has left the country, doesn’t he know there’s a football match on today, in Glasgow, that the whole world wants to see? Of course, maybe he’s been tasked with doubling the viewing numbers in Portugal by ensuring all his family members and friends are aware that this footballing extravaganza is taking place today14

    View Comment
  41. John Clark


    HirsutePursuitSeptember 23, 2017 at 01:11
    From the “PinsentMasons Fraud Brief ‘  (and thanks for posting the link,HP)
    ‘Fraud is committed when someone achievesa practical result by the means of a falsepretence..’

    My mind immediately flew to the question of whether a new football club set up in 2012 would be guilty of fraud in claiming for purposes of an IPO and other marketing purposes to be a much older club that now is no longer a football club?
    If the prospectus for a new football club merely said ‘we are a newly constituted football club, with no history of sporting success’ how many investors would be attracted?

    View Comment
  42. Jingso.Jimsie

    Jingso.Jimsie


    Keef may have out-Keefed himself in his piece today in the DR.

    View Comment
  43. Allyjambo

    Allyjambo


    John ClarkSeptember 23, 2017 at 10:32   
    HirsutePursuitSeptember 23, 2017 at 01:11From the “PinsentMasons Fraud Brief ‘  (and thanks for posting the link,HP)‘Fraud is committed when someone achievesa practical result by the means of a falsepretence..’My mind immediately flew to the question of whether a new football club set up in 2012 would be guilty of fraud in claiming for purposes of an IPO and other marketing purposes to be a much older club that now is no longer a football club?If the prospectus for a new football club merely said ‘we are a newly constituted football club, with no history of sporting success’ how many investors would be attracted?
    _________________

    Perhaps more importantly, John, is the question of how many people would not now have lost a lot of money in RIFC shares? For there can be little doubt that there is a direct link between the disastrous share price plummet and the fact that the shares purchased in the IPO were not shares in Rangers Football Club, nor in the holding company of Rangers Football Club!

    View Comment
  44. woodstein

    woodstein


    James Forrest

    View Comment
  45. Homunculus

    Homunculus


    JOHN CLARKSEPTEMBER 23, 2017 at 10:32
    My mind immediately flew to the question of whether a new football club set up in 2012 would be guilty of fraud in claiming for purposes of an IPO and other marketing purposes to be a much older club that now is no longer a football club?

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

    The IPO was RIFC PLC, which isn’t a football club of any age at all. It is a PLC which owns shares in TRFC Ltd.

    TRFC Ltd was incorporated on 29th May 2012

    RIFC PLC was incorporated on 16th November 2012

    Neither is in any way linked to RFC PLC 2012 (in liquidation), which was previously known as The Rangers Football Club PLC. 

    You will note that the current position is a Ltd Company whose shares are owned by a Holding Company. That wasn’t previously the case. They just made that up.

    View Comment
  46. John Clark


    HomunculusSeptember 23, 2017 at 13:46
    ‘…The IPO was RIFC PLC, ‘..etc
    ______
    Yes, of course.
    RIFC marketed its shares on the basis of their main business-operating a football club with a 100 and oatcake history of staggering sporting success and as a brand with 500M fans world-wide, and so on.
    TRFC claims to be that club.
    A double deception of  would-be investors?
    The prospectus clearly aims to make people think they are investing in the the club in liquidation as though there had been no liquidation,merely a change of ownership from CW to CG.

    View Comment
  47. easyJambo


    John Clark September 23, 2017 at 18:07
    —————————–
    Just cast your mind back to May/June and the Whyte trial, where the Advocate Depute stated (repeated by Lady Stacy) that in order to prove a criminal fraud three things were required:
    “A false pretence, dishonestly made, in order to obtain some practical result.”

    Now I wonder who in Scottish football could possibly have made a false statement, knowing that it wasn’t true, in order to obtain a UEFA licence. 

    View Comment
  48. upthehoops


    JOHN CLARKSEPTEMBER 23, 2017 at 00:35
    =========================

    In my humble opinion the Compliance Officer’s remit will be to:

    1. Confirm Craig Whyte lied to the SFA to gain a licence.
    2. Ignore that Whyte only continued the lie which started before his time at Ibrox.
    3. Ignore the fact that three Ibrox Directors who were there when the lie started are still there.
    4. Confirm that the SFA were honest and blameless at all times. 

    The Judicial Panel will then say action has already been taken to ban Whyte from Scottish football, the matter is closed, and it really is time to move on. Stewart Regan will then say there are some incredible things happening in Scottish football so why can’t everyone just be happy. Many of us will continue to believe the SFA are a deceitful, dishonest organisation with something to hide. 

    There is a different option though. Allow a Judge in the Court of Session to decide who lied, who didn’t and what their motives were for doing so. Then we really can move on. 

    View Comment
  49. easyJambo


    upthehoops September 24, 2017 at 06:27 
    JOHN CLARKSEPTEMBER 23, 2017 at 00:35 =========================
    In my humble opinion the Compliance Officer’s remit will be to:
    1. Confirm Craig Whyte lied to the SFA to gain a licence. 2. Ignore that Whyte only continued the lie which started before his time at Ibrox. 3. Ignore the fact that three Ibrox Directors who were there when the lie started are still there. 4. Confirm that the SFA were honest and blameless at all times.
    =========================
    I think you are close to the mark, but I do think that the blame for the “lie” will be put at the door of the Rangers directors who were Murray Group employees.

    I believe that the two directors (Mike McGill and David Horne) whose evidence at the Whyte trial has led to this review will be used to exonerate the RFC directors and employees such as Alastair Johnston and Andrew Dickson.

    The TOR for the inquiry will be restricted to the Licence application itself, and will not look at the set-up and operation of the DOS scheme which led to the WTC bill.

    My guess would be that the outcome will be that :
    1. Andrew Dickson will say that he asked McGill and Horne about the position re the WTC in advance of the licence application being submitted in March 2011
    2. Dickson will say he was told by the McGill and Horne to submit in the application with the potential liability / ongoing negotiations line.
    3. Dickson, Johnston and the SFA will be found to have acted in good faith at all times, i.e. no dishonesty.
    4. Whyte will be found to have perpetuated the lie and not disclosed further correspondence with HMRC to the SFA in advance of the 30 June and 30 September 2011 checkpoints.
    5. There will be confirmation of the life-time ban on Whyte and a statement to the effect that the Murray Group employees have no role in Scottish football so no action can be taken.
    6. Dickson and Johnston will be allowed to continue their footballing roles with their FPP status confirmed.

    View Comment
  50. upthehoops


    EASYJAMBOSEPTEMBER 24, 2017 at 11:13 =================================

    You may well be right about Murray Group employees getting the blame as an outcome of the review. However, I believe that the information Celtic are in possession of could blow a Gerrymandered SFA response out the water, and the PLC Board also have to respond to Resolution 12 at this years AGM. 

    View Comment
  51. paddy malarkey

    paddy malarkey


    EASYJAMBOSEPTEMBER 24, 2017 at 11:13

    I would be surprised if Craig Whyte allows his reputation to be further traduced by the football authorities in this country  without standing up for himself . Who knows what he knows .

    View Comment
  52. Massive support from Clumpany Towers, which I know will be echoed everywhere. https://t.co/DYGVxqksu1

    "The words Jackson chose to write today could be potentially damaging to a very small charity like ours"

    https://t.co/9EAQs8CBNt

    50 Years Ago Today: Jinky sees red as poor run continues 23rd September 1967: Celtic v St Johnstone – League https://t.co/IUAcIl73XI

    In hide and seek terms, they have some way to go to beat your lack of comment on BTC outcome & whether there should be an independent review https://t.co/s5SPou4MFD

    Please share folks, especially with those who still don't get it.

    https://t.co/yLFe1ncPfQ

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