The Way it Works

 

Many years ago, I read an article in some legal magazine or other which, to my mind, pointed out something that I had always presumed was obvious.

Namely, that unlike his English Counterpart, the Scottish solicitor is not just a drafter and processor of legal documents, he ( or she ) is a man of business who furnishes advice, and as often as not, will recommend a course of action – possibly involving many different steps or procedures- in any given situation.

Without going into an academic analysis of what this means, may I suggest that a simple definition is that the Scottish solicitor does not always simply do what they are told but will furnish the client with advice for, or against, a certain course of action.

The same applies to accountants and other professionals in my experience. When discussing any business situation, the client should always be aware of the pros and the cons. From there he or she makes a decision based on the advice given – which advice may be taken or rejected.
That is how things work.

If you think about what I have said above, then it follows that one of the principal things an adviser should do for any client, is to suggest a course of action that keeps the client out of court.

Court is a place of last resort. Litigation of any kind is expensive, brings uncertainty, is time consuming and acts as a barrier to unfettered and uninterrupted business planning, strategy and progress because no one can ever be sure of the outcome or the consequences of a court case.
In olden days, court meant choosing your champion to fight against your adversary’s champion. If your guy knocked the other guy of the horse and killed him outright with the lance then you won. It didn’t matter if your guy was also hit with your opponents lance and died a week later as a result – you were still the winner because the other guy died first.

Eventually, society did away with such courts and replaced them with courts of law and the men and women with wigs and gowns as opposed to the lance.

However, you can still win a court battle and suffer a fatal defeat as a consequence.
That is why a court of law should always be regarded as a place of last resort. No one should ever set out on a course of action which runs a high risk of ending up being disputed in court.

Sometimes, of course, a court action is inevitable. On other occasions, people adopt a course of action where the risk of things ending up in court is seen an as an acceptable risk.

This morning’s Daily Record ( and indeed yesterday’s edition ) is spouting David Murray’s mantra that HMRC knifed Rangers but adds there are no winners here. How very MSM. How very lacking in business understanding or searching for the truth.

So, let me explain something.

When you sit down with a firm of accountants who specialise in aggressive tax avoidance schemes such as an EBT scheme or a DOS scheme, one of the things that are spelt out to you is that the scheme you are about to embark upon may well be, indeed is likely to be, challenged in a court of law. Especially if you do not administer it to the letter.

Often as not, the client will be asked to sign up to a contract which specifies that the client will pay hefty fees to lawyers and accountants for setting up the scheme and that fee will include a contribution towards legal fees arising in the event of a legal challenge to the scheme.

That is stipulated at the very outset. You pay £x in advance because you know you are likely to be sued. You also get the benefit of advice which is designed to ensure that your scheme is absolutely watertight in terms of the law, but crucially, there is a rider which states that in the event that the court rules against you then the accountants or lawyers will not be held accountable as you are entering into the whole process knowing that there is a big risk of litigation – and you are told in writing that while you shouldn’t lose, you might lose.

This too is the way it works.

The business advisers will not want litigation, but from the outset they will cover their backs and make it plain to the client that if you sign on the dotted line for an aggressive tax avoidance scheme then you can expect HMRC to take you to court.

Accordingly, the protestations screaming out from the Daily Record this morning about how HMRC killed Rangers are balderdash and bunkum of the highest order.

HMRC did not knife Rangers, they did exactly what was expected of them in the circumstances and the people at MIH knew that the day they started off on any one of their tax avoidance schemes.
Taking the risk in the first place killed Rangers or Rangers PLC if you prefer.

However, the events of yesterday and the day before throw up some other matters worth considering and remembering.

The first is the woeful state of the Rangers accounts by 2005 when there had been yet another share issue underwritten by David Murray. Those accounts showed Rangers PLC to be in a shocking financial state, despite all the rhetoric and dressing from the Directors and the Accountants.

More or less immediately Murray chose to put the club up for sale as it was obvious that the financial traincrash could simply not continue.

However, despite years of searching no buyer could be found.

Further, it should also be remembered that Rangers PLC knew all about the small tax case long before Craig Whyte came along. Those liabilities stemmed from around 2001 but at no time during the Murray era at Ibrox did Sir David put aside the money to pay a bill which no one at Rangers disputed as being due at any time.

Whyte stressed the need for this to be paid long before he ever got the keys to the Marble Staircase, but it wasn’t and there can be only one of two reasons for that.

Either Sir David just didn’t pay the bill concerned ….. or he couldn’t!

The fact is that long before Craig Whyte appeared David Murray could have paid that bill or reached an agreement to pay that bill. However he didn’t and for a period of several years he simply decided he wanted out …. Needed out ….. at any cost!

There is no doubt that he gambled hard and fast with Rangers Football Club, and their finances and their supporters loyalties. He knew , or ought to have known, well in advance that a prolonged and regularly used aggressive tax avoidance scheme, legal or not, was bound to attract the adverse interest and attention of HMRC.

Sir David Murray has been lauded up and down the country for his so called business acumen and business knowledge. He was knighted for the same and received all sorts of unprecedented backing from banks and other institutions.

Does anyone reading this really believe that such a man did not have the foresight, or the advisers around him who had the foresight, to see and know that a large and prolonged dispute with the revenue authorities may well have an adverse effect on the viability and sellability of his business?
Such a suggestion is simply not credible.

Further when the HMRC interest came, Murray’s men, if not Murray himself, did their very best to try and hide the existence of the scheme, the documents surrounding the scheme, the details of the scheme and the intention of the scheme.

They hid all this away from HMRC, The SFA, The SPL and anyone else in authority, with the result that those authorities and bodies had no option but to run to the courts, set up tribunals and convene formal hearings.

When someone does not tell you the truth, starts hiding documents and obfuscating that is the way it works.

However, that is not all that yesterday brought.

The news that Collier Bristow have apparently agreed ( through their insurers no doubt ) to pay the liquidator of Rangers some £20M shows that taking into account the litigation risk, someone somewhere thought it worth making a payment to make a bad situation go away.
Imagine that? What bad situation could that be?

Would it be that somehow or other, creditors, officials and all sorts of other people were misled by a leading firm of solicitors in relation to the affairs of Rangers PLC? Could it really be the case that things were so bad financially at Ibrox, that the only way for even Whyte to be able to get the sale to go through at the princely sum of £1 plus the official bank debt was to have his people mislead funders and eventual creditors?

What does that say about David Murray’s stewardship and the absolute urgent need to get Lloyds TSB out of the picture? Was there really no one else or no other way to take on the debts of Rangers PLC? Apparently not — and that can only be because someone chose to gamble with the finances of the club and leave it in a precarious state.

I am told that when Lloyds took over that account they expressed amazement at how MIH and Rangers PLC were allowed to run up the debts they had with HBOS. Apparently there was incredulity at some of the figures and covenants.

So , when we read in the Record this morning that the HMRC Big Tax case inadvertently brought down Rangers it is very easy to overlook the debt due to the bank, how it arose, the sums due to the same bank through MIH, the extent of the sums due, the banks attitude and the possible attitude and course of action had Whyte not taken them away.

Remember that the same bank stepped straight into MIH and began selling off its assets, and that low and behold the same management team who engineered the EBT scheme have openly admitted that there is an unexplained shortfall in the employees’ pension scheme of over £20 Million.

Do you think the employees who have lost out on pension provision are the slightest concerned about whether the tax avoidance scheme funds and their use are legal or not ? – or do you think they might argue that the money used for these so called “discretionary payments” should have been used to fund a proper legally constituted pension scheme which the company and its directors undertook to pay into under contract?

There is still substantial debt due to Lloyds by MIH and part of that debt is the amount by which David Murray and MIH underwrote and guaranteed that last share issue of Rangers PLC in 2004/2005. The principal sum due under that guarantee ( excluding interest and charges ) was greater than the principal sum claimed by HMRC in the big tax case.

Go figure.

However, this saga is far from over especially with regard to “contractually due” severance payments which look as if they will come back to the FTT in the event of the parties concerned not reaching agreement on the tax allegedly due.

Now, this is interesting because apparently there are a number of documents in existence which show that certain players received a payment of £x at the end of their contract as part of a severance deal.

At the time these were made, my recollection is that under normal severance agreement legislation the first £30,000 would be tax free but after that any sums were taxable.

The FTT has never been asked to rule on these payments, and has never heard any evidence about the legality or otherwise of paying these sums gross of tax into an offshore trust. All of that may yet be to come.

However, the most interesting part of this for me is that further court action may be taken in relation to these matters failing agreement between HMRC… and whom?

Rangers PLC ( the employer ) is in Liquidation so perhaps HMRC might claim some of the money from the Liquidator who has just received the £20M from Collier Bristow – then again it could well be that Ticketus have something to say about that.

In his last statement about MIH, David Murray openly proclaimed that the company was all but finished and revealed the pension shortfall and so on – so I doubt if any agreement of any meaning will be reached there.

That then leaves those who supposedly benefited from the contractually due severance payments – namely the players.

Maybe, in the absence of a now defunct employer, they will be asked to cough up the tax.

No doubt they will all go and consult their lawyers and accountants – the men and woman of business – who will give them their best advice – but you can bet your bottom dollar that any such advice will include a paragraph or ten which starts something along the lines of “ However, here is the potential risk in the event of you deciding to …………. “

That is the way it works……. And always has done.

1,546 Comments
  1. GoosyGoosy


    Found it

    no obvious wiggle room

    Article 21
    Forfeit
    2. A match is declared forfeit if a player who has been suspended following a disciplinary decision participates in the match
    3 The consequences of a match being declared forfeit are as follows
    a) The team forfeiting the match is deemed to have lost 3-0 (5-0 in futsal competitions) unless the actual result is less favourable to the member association or club at fault in which case that result stands
    b)If necessary the UEFA administration amends the member association or clubs Ranking in the relevant competition accordingly:
    If a match is declared forfeit offences committed during the match remain punishable

    View Comment
  2. wottpi


    Just a thought. If Charles has such great connections what stopped the Soros guys from investing first time round?

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  3. RyanGosling

    RyanGosling


    First chance to log in tonight. Celtic have of course, as Upthehoops pointed out well, no reason to feel ashamed for being reinstated. It was absolutely nothing to do with them. It was quite pleasing to see the self awareness of a lot of Celtic fans on here admitting immediately that they were not there on any sporting merit. But as many have said rules are rules. I think they are harsh in this case. But bearing in mind the rules of the competition when the teams entered, the only logical conclusion is that Celtic are through to the next round on merit. Sporting merit too really, considering the ever precious away goal!

    George Soros made over one billion dollars in one day by anticipating black Wednesday in 1992. Such foresight, market understanding and investor savvy is tantamount to genius. If he invests in Rangers I will eat my own face.

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  4. John Clark


    wottpi says:
    August 8, 2014 at 11:28 pm
    ‘.. If Charles has such great connections what stopped the Soros guys from investing first time round?’
    ——
    Who knows how these people think, wottpi? Not that I wish to move into areas that would be strictly off topic, Soros already had a stake in Man U.And maybe one soccer club was enough. If he still has that stake, he may now want to get shot of it, as he got shot of Sodastream, as part of his ‘political’ opposition to Israel ( = the Glazer family?) and Charlie boy has maybe had the chance to suggest that a bob or two is there for the thieving from an ailing Scottish club.
    I have to say, though, that -ignorant and innocent as I am- I would have thought that some of the supporters of that ailing club were rather more anti-Palestinian than anti-Israeli. Or have I got that wrong?
    I suppose what I’m really trying to get to grips with is the possibility, that mock as we will, there could actually be a wee smidgeon of factual basis in the CG/Soros connection.
    I think it’s unlikely, probably improbable, but not impossible.
    I have tweeted a US journalist who has written about Soros’ ‘spokesman’, Michael Vachon, to ask if he could find out whether there is any possibility that the CG story is true.
    I wonder if any of our SMSM hacks have tried to establish the facts? Emails, phone calls will always produce at least the line ” we tried to speak to … but they refused/declined to speak to us or reply to our emails..” The laziest hack could get several paragraphs at so much per column inch, for making a phone cal or sending an email!

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  5. PhilMacGiollaBhain


    http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/sport/sport-headlines/celtic-award-bullshit-goals-to-fictional-player-2014080889421
    This made me laugh out loud.
    I love the Daily Mash.
    Consistently brilliant.

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  6. RyanGosling

    RyanGosling


    I don’t know if this is off topic or not, but I’d like to pose the question; how do members of this community think Scottish independence, a yes or a no vote, might affect the game?

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  7. Trisidium


    Ryan
    As long as it stays in the football realm, fill yer boots.

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  8. upthehoops


    RyanGosling says:
    August 9, 2014 at 2:37 am
    1 5 Rate This

    I don’t know if this is off topic or not, but I’d like to pose the question; how do members of this community think Scottish independence, a yes or a no vote, might affect the game?
    ————————————-
    I can’t see how it will be affected either way to be honest. Perhaps if YES prevailed we might eventually get a fit for purpose Hampden, given we will instantly be one of the wealthiest nations in Europe 🙄 That’s enough from me in case I get sent to the naughty corner!

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  9. Danish Pastry


    Night Terror says:
    August 8, 2014 at 6:35 pm
    16 0 Rate This

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/28713408
    ———–

    There’s a 7.28 audio clip link further down the page. Charles in full flow. He’d rather stay and look after ‘is ‘orses but club is one of world’s best best brands. Shades of Rangersitis.

    “Still people who will invest in football but money must be invested wisely … They’re trying to do a fund raising without accounts so people don’t know what they’re investing in.”

    So he’s spoken to 2-3 people. Now senses club in dire straits enough to perhaps turn up again with borrowed money (from Stockbridge’s little company?)

    He echoes a lot of what Phil has been saying regarding fruitless fundraising attempts in the City and £4m not enough. Seems remarkably well-informed for someone who’s not involved anymore. Has a feeling of Charles trying to be the preferred bidder to supply emergency cash.

    But what price Charles’ return? A hefty one, if the form guide is anything to go by.

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  10. Allyjambo

    Allyjambo


    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/28713408

    According to the BBC, George Soros, the man himself, is not involved with Charles Green, but a firm of fund managers, bearing his name, is. How close the link is between the fund managers and the man, who knows? I’d suspect, that however close George Soros is to Soros Fund Management, he won’t be taking much interest in a proposal to enter a consortium seeking to raise the miserly, to him and his ilk, sum of £10m.

    On the other hand, Green seems to have a knack of persuading normally shrewd fund managers to part with other people’s hard earned and, even though he might not be able to do it again in this country, the US might possibly be an unspoiled market for him.

    Changing hands again, though, and we see from the Beeb’s report that, in Green’s words (would you accept the ‘word’ of Green?), he is ‘close’ to raising ‘up to’ £10m and Soros F M are only ‘interested’.

    True to Green’s PR form there’s nothing concrete, there’s a big name to band about and he’s painting himself as some sort of reluctant hero by riding to the club’s rescue once again. Added to that there appears to be no attempt by his pet hacks to verify his claims.

    Interesting, too, is the snippet that some ‘senior Rangers official’ has been involved in talks with Soros F M. Strange then, that this ‘great news’ should be released by a man most bears wouldn’t want near their club again rather than a spokesperson from a board desperate to win favour with their customers.

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  11. Long Time Lurker

    Long Time Lurker


    Why is Green making an appearance now?

    Is this a genuine bid to save the club or a spoiler to scare away any investors who may be looking to support another share issue, if that ever gets off the ground?

    Nothing in the Rangers saga (other than dodgy refereeing decisions 🙂 ) appears to happen by accident. Each move has a purpose.

    By all accounts the wolf is nearly at the door. Does Green want to jump onto a sinking shop and bail it out – or does he intended to hole it bellow the water line?

    I wonder if the answers to these questions can be found in the various service contracts that were created after the liquidation.

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  12. Danish Pastry


    Allyjambo says:
    August 9, 2014 at 8:04 am
    1 0 Rate This

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/28713408

    According to the BBC, George Soros, the man himself, is not involved with Charles Green, but a firm of fund managers, bearing his name, is …
    ———-

    @GerryBraiden just tweeted: ‘Define Soros’ — a brammer 😆

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  13. fara1968


    fara1968 says:
    August 8, 2014 at 9:31 am
    12 2 Rate This

    Big Pink @ 9:12
    Would Celtic be allowed by stock market rules not to protest? In the interest of shareholders?
    ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////
    Big Pink
    On reflection perhaps I shouldn’t have put a link to your post on mine. I was asking a genuine question without thinking of the moral merits of the situation as your own post concerned.
    Another poster, (which I can’t find ATM) dismissed the boards duties to the shareholders as irrelevant in this instance.
    However with professional football clubs being also businesses, (well most of them anyway) there isn’t a lot sporting these days about the sport called football. It is my biggest turn off in our game and very sad indeed to watch at times.

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  14. Kilgore Trout


    can be a pain sometimes.

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  15. nawlite


    Folks, text of a letter and email I’m sending to UEFA today. Any thoughts on improvements before I do? I think I’ve accurately captured the ‘facts’ as I see them, but if anyone has any constructive criticism, I can amend. Cheers.

    Dear Sirs,
    Although I am Scottish, I am not a Celtic supporter, but feel I must write applauding your decision in respect of the rule breach by Legia Warsaw. I admire your principles in following your clearly stated rules in respect of such rule breaches despite the widespread sympathy for Legia that I have seen displayed, even in Scotland (and I am sure even you must feel sorry for them to an extent). I am glad that you did not undermine your rules by bowing to such feelings.
    My interpretation of your actions in this case is that they confirm two key principles that underpin your disciplinary process:-
    1. Even if a rule breach is discovered after the event, that rule breach must be dealt with.
    I assume that the error was discovered after the event, or presumably you would have warned Legia not to make the error.
    2. The rule breach must be punished even if no sporting advantage was gained.
    The sympathy toward Legia is based on the fact that they obviously gained no sporting advantage by playing the suspended player for only 3 of the 180 minutes, by which time they were already 6-1 ahead in the tie.
    Because of your swift and strong actions in support of your rulebook on this issue affecting Scottish football, I cannot help but compare and contrast the actions of the Scottish Football authorities when dealing with a similar issue.
    You may already be aware of the case raised by the Scottish Football authorities against Rangers FC in recent times. This was a high profile case concerning the concealment of remuneration details from the football authorities which, when initially discovered, was described by them as being “just short of match fixing”. It was agreed that the issue was of sufficient importance to justify investigation by an independent tribunal. The Scottish Football Association allowed the Scottish Premier League to instigate this investigation because the SFA might need to act as the appellant body, but they took part in the investigation and provided evidence to it. Given that the SFA follows UEFA rules, I am at a loss to understand how they reached an outcome so different from your Legia decision and how UEFA allowed that decision to stand.
    My reasoning for that statement is that the independent tribunal did indeed find Rangers FC guilty of deliberately concealing remuneration details (contained in side letters to contracts) for many, many players over many, many years and they were fined the sum of £250,000 for doing so. The reason for such a small fine for this long term, deliberate crime (“just short of match fixing”!) is that Rangers FC was already in liquidation by the time of the decision and a more commensurate fine would hurt only their creditors who had already suffered enough losses. This is perfectly understandable.
    However, a massive number of football fans in Scotland cannot understand how Rangers, having been found guilty of deliberate concealment of player remuneration details i.e. mis-registration of players, did not suffer the consequences they should have.
    As laid out in the tribunal decision, the reasons given for not punishing them clash quite glaringly with your underpinning principles as laid out in 1. and 2. above.
    1. Even if a rule breach is discovered after the event, that rule breach must be dealt with.
    As I mentioned, the SFA provided evidence to the independent tribunal. In his evidence, Sandy Bryson (the SFA’s registration expert) testified that if the SFA did not spot a mis-registration at the time and the player was therefore accepted as officially registered (albeit incorrectly), then that player’s status remained as ‘correctly registered’ until the discovery of the error/deliberate concealment (even though they now knew he was incorrectly registered throughout). As a result of that testimony, the tribunal panel took the view that Rangers FC should not face any consequences because in the eyes of the SFA at the time Rangers were fielding only correctly registered players, even though they now knew they were incorrectly registered due to the deliberate concealment. If UEFA took that view in the Legia case, then you could not punish them for the rule breach as UEFA discovered their unfortunate error only after the event. In many other cases, the SFA has been willing to act retrospectively and award the default 0-3 scoreline when teams have played mis-registered players in their cup competitions.
    2. The rule breach must be punished even if no sporting advantage was gained.
    The tribunal spent much time deliberating whether or not Rangers FC had gained any sporting advantage from the concealment of remuneration details. The background is that HMRC were concurrently fighting Rangers FC in court over tax evasion (which was the reason for Rangers’ concealment of player remuneration details). The first round of the case had just found in favour of Rangers, although HMRC went on to appeal. At the time of the tribunal decision, therefore, the methods Rangers used to avoid paying tax on player salaries were deemed legal (though HMRC’s appeal is ongoing), so the tribunal panel decided that any other Scottish club could have chosen to use the same practices, but didn’t. In their view, then, no sporting advantage had been gained. Depending on the outcome of the appeal, that view may prove to be right or wrong, but your decision in the Legia case clearly indicates that sporting advantage should not impact on the disciplinary process – it is the rule breach that must be punished, not the sporting advantage gained.
    I realise that the cases I am discussing are not identical (the Legia case concerns one suspended player while the Rangers case concerns many, many mis-registered players over many, many years), but to football fans the end effect is the same – a player(s) took part in a match(es) in which he/they shouldn’t have been allowed to play. Football fans in Scotland can see only the glaring inconsistency between UEFA’s actions in one case affecting Scottish football and the SFA’s actions in another (as well as UEFA’s inaction in that case). For that reason, there is absolute distrust in the SFA and many fans have walked away from their team and the game here.
    My questions for you are these:-
    1. Were you aware of the independent tribunal investigating Rangers’ mis-registration of players?
    2. Were you aware of the reasons why the tribunal reached the decision not to apply punishment?
    3. Do you support the outcome of the independent tribunal investigating Rangers’ mis-registration of players?
    4. Do you support the testimony of Sandy Bryson with regard to the impossibility of retrospective punishment?
    5. Can you see how your actions clearly differ from those of the SFA for what is perceived as a similar but lesser breach by Legia?
    If you agree with the decision and stand by the SFA’s handling of the rule breach by Rangers, would you be able to publish a clarification as to why you feel the decision is the right one? I hope you will at least explain that to me in your reply, but until Scottish football fans understand clearly why these two cases have been treated so remarkably differently by the SFA/UEFA, the distrust that has arisen from it will continue to erode the game here. This is best dealt with by a published clarification from UEFA. Most fans believe that the SFA circumvented their own rules to avoid punishing Rangers FC as they knew that any punishment would anger Rangers fans and potentially result in the loss of their large support to the game. They risk losing at least as many fans who believe that Rangers were given preferential treatment.
    I do hope that you will look at this issue again and give me the courtesy of a reply.
    Yours sincerely.

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  16. Kilgore Trout


    fara1968

    Good to catch up with you at last.
    I’ve been meaning to acknowledge your ‘yeast molecule’ comment from some time back but our paths haven’t crossed since then.

    Being unstuck in time really

    View Comment
  17. ecobhoy


    RyanGosling says:
    August 9, 2014 at 2:37 am

    I don’t know if this is off topic or not, but I’d like to pose the question; how do members of this community think Scottish independence, a yes or a no vote, might affect the game?
    =====================================================
    Without getting into the mechanics of the Referendum Debate I don’t think there is any point in speculating about that at this time.

    I say that because if Scotland votes for Independence there will be an interim period where a number of seriously important issues would need to be decided like what currency is to be used and many more very difficult questions.

    Then there will need to be a General Election to elect a new Parliament and that raises the issue of whether the SNP at that point will divide into various factions having achieved what is possibly its current primary goal viz Independence.

    If there is a No vote then we will have a similar period of uncertainty while we wait on the shape of the increased devolution powers to be granted. It’s also possible at that point that the SNP again might split withsome remaining wedded to Independence and others adopting a more pragmatic approach in view of the failure to achieve Indpendence for at least decades if not forever.

    IMO there are many many more pressing economic and financial matters to be dealt with whether we end-up Independent or with Devo-Max Devolution and I believe – again either way – there will be a significant change in the political landscape and hopefully voters will be able to make decisions not based on emotional grounds but on building a fairer and just society.

    Personally I believe football will continue to decline simply because the cost of following a team is – in the current economic climate – beyond the financial reach of an increasing percentage of what would be seen as traditional supporters.

    I also think that today’s youngsters have so many other sports and interests that they find more interesting than watching football so the future is bleak no matter whether we are Independent or not.

    And once this Referendum is out of the way then possibly politicians – of all parties – will stop worrying about losing ‘blue’ or ‘green’ votes and actually deal with the sickness that still lingers on and continues to poison Scotland to its eternal shame.

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  18. Danish Pastry


    #Nawlite

    The only bit where I lost the train of thought, or where it lost impact, was from point 2: “At the time of he tribunal … In their view, then, no sporting advantage had been gained.”

    Do you need those 6 lines? The argument flows better and is more concise without them, imho.

    Good stuff on the principle of, ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.’

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  19. BigGav


    nawlite says:
    August 9, 2014 at 9:04 am

    … This was a high profile case concerning the concealment of remuneration details from the football authorities which, when initially discovered, was described by them as being “just short of match fixing”.

    ——-
    Wasn’t it the earlier case of bringing the game into disrepute by not paying taxes that was descibed as “just short of match fixing”, not the LNS case?

    Anyway, good luck with your letter. It seems a bit overlong, but I’m not sure how to make it any shorter.

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  20. nawlite


    I’ll check that out, BG, thanks.

    I’ve been known to be a bit wordy, so I’ll see if I can edit a bit!!

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  21. ecobhoy


    nawlite says:
    August 9, 2014 at 9:04 am

    Folks, text of a letter and email I’m sending to UEFA today. Any thoughts on improvements before I do? I think I’ve accurately captured the ‘facts’ as I see them, but if anyone has any constructive criticism, I can amend. Cheers.
    ==================================
    I would ensure that you ensure at least para spacing is used otherwise no one will read it in my experience and I say because I tend to over-write on occasion so a criticism that could be well applied to myself as well 😳

    You state:

    Because of your swift and strong actions in support of your rulebook on this issue affecting Scottish football, I cannot help but compare and contrast the actions of the Scottish Football authorities when dealing with a similar issue.

    I actually haven’t seen the UEFA rule book section dealing with the matter as I’ve been pretty busy last couple of days. But I would be surprised if there wasn’t some leeway allowed in the level of punishment dependant on how seriously any breach was viewed.

    I’m not saying that to negate your intentions in any way but I think it’s worth considering.

    I also think you seriously deplete the chance of any response by asking UEFA to comment on internal matters of Scottish Football admin. I think it would be enough to state the bald facts as to what was decided in Scotland and note it’s a pity that there is no harmonisation of ALL rules from top to bottom and ask if there any any plans to bring this about in view of the discrepancies which occur.

    There’s probably little chance of a reply no matter what is written but there’s just a possibility that would could easily be construed by UEFA as point-scoring is altered to a: ‘How can we improve football governance across the board in Europe’.

    The approach I suggest would also have the effect of much reducing the size of the letter and again someone at UEFA might then actually read it. Even if they don’t reply or progress it in any way – information has been imparted. The dripping of water can have powerful results 😆

    PS: Another way of keeping something down to a manageable ‘read’ is to use Appendices where the detailed arguments is contained so that the covering letter is much snappier and straight to the point.

    View Comment
  22. parttimearab


    From yesterday’s DR article…

    “Green retains close links with the Beaufort consortium, which includes Blue Pitch and Margarita Holdings, who currently hold 28 per cent of the club’s stock.”

    When did BPH and MH become part of “the Beaufort Consortium”?

    What is the “Beaufort Consortium”?

    Have I missed something due to close season/commonwealth games induced torpor, I really can’t recall running across this consortium before.

    http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/rangers-fans-threaten-all-out-ibrox-4026716?

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  23. Danish Pastry


    fara1968 says:
    August 9, 2014 at 8:42 am
    1 0 Rate This

    … However with professional football clubs being also businesses, (well most of them anyway) there isn’t a lot sporting these days about the sport called football. It is my biggest turn off in our game and very sad indeed to watch at times.
    ——–

    Excuse my flurry of comments but there’s so many good posts that deserve a comment.

    Fara, there is still fun in football, but it’s mostly outside the corporate rat race. I switch off at the sight of MC and Chelsea fans celebrating the bought titles, even Man U have lost me. The joy of Fergie’s reign was the generation of kids he brought through and what they eventually achieved. But the word ‘eventually’ doesn’t enter into their thinking these days.

    My biggest moments last year were seeing Scotttish teams live and on the box. It’s a modest league but the more authentic. Raith Rovers and St Johnstone highlights of the year, not to mention the re-emergence of east coast clubs and the saving of Hearts. Lots and lots of positives.

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  24. Torquemada


    So the name of George Soros pops up in the Sevco saga to add to the gaiety of several nations. Some of you have alluded to George’s Black Monday stroke when he made over £1bn by shorting the ailing British pound. What many of you may not know is that a little-known Irish businessman named Dermot Desmond, who may since have come to your notice, was part of George’s little consortium. It was some stroke — Dermot went from being well off to having wealth off the radar, to coin a phrase I’ve heard somewhere.

    Dermot brought a couple of his financial client pals to the party — racehorse owner John Magnier and fabled gambler JP McManus. Their triple-digit-million return that day was the basis for their now-massive fortunes. None of the miserable hoors thought to give me a call. I’m sure I could have got in there with a couple of bob from the credit union :sob:.

    So if George wants an inside opinion of any potential returns from an investment in Sevco, he only has to pick up the phone to his old pal Dermot. We can’t be sure of what answer he’d get but we may have an inkling from a poster on KDS who bumped into the Cork man at the airport recently and asked him what he thought of The Rangers’ chances of survival.

    “Day’re fooked,” was the reported reply. lol!

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  25. StevieBC

    StevieBC


    Almost did a ‘Cashley Cole’ but avoided crashing the car when I heard Radio Clyde news excitedly annnounce that Charles Green was planning a return to Ibrox backed by George Soros.

    George Soros. Yes, of course he is.

    MSM continues to underwhelm.

    But the release of this story and the report of the ‘cost cutting guru’ Nash charging GBP1K + expenses per day suggests that a new PR campaign is under way.

    So what is the real story /

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  26. Tartanwulver

    Tartanwulver


    RyanGosling says:
    August 9, 2014 at 2:37 am

    I don’t know if this is off topic or not, but I’d like to pose the question; how do members of this community think Scottish independence, a yes or a no vote, might affect the game
    ————————————————
    Presumably a ‘yes’ vote will make it harder for those Scottish teams who wish to leave the Scottish league setup and join the EPL. I’d estimate that it would decrease their chances of success from the current 0.000001% to a mere 0.0000001%

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  27. ecobhoy


    fara1968 says:
    August 8, 2014 at 9:31 am

    Would Celtic be allowed by stock market rules not to protest? In the interest of shareholders?
    ==========================================
    I’m no expert in stock market rules but hey not being an ‘expert’has never previously stopped me voicing an opinion.

    Seems to me that this one is definitely a grey area in that obviously a Plc Board must act in the interests of its shareholders and on first-sight it seems obvious that potentially giving-up say £30+ million if we get beyond the group stages could never be contemplated by the Board.

    The counter argument is that so many fans might become disenchanted by the decision that they no longer support the club and if this was widespread that the future of the club became problematic.

    Personally I don’t think the counter-argument holds water but this may be an issue which is worth raising at the agm especially in terms of providing guidance for the Board as to what shareholders are thinking and I really mean in terms or ordinary shareholders.

    At the end of the day if Celtic didn’t survive then the good work it does outwith the football arena would also cease so it’s not an easy decision on moral grounds.

    On footballing and financial grounds – I will take the gift and hope we use it to help enhance the club and its charitable work by doing well financially in Europe.

    We didn’t make the mistake and if positions were reversed then I have no doubt that Legia Warsaw would have said: ‘Ta very much. We feel sorry for celtic but that’s football.’

    I will also take no heed of those in the Blue Camp on issues involving morality and integrity in view of their history on these issues. However I am heartened by the number of Bears who say they would accept the decision and take the money it potentially brings.

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  28. justshatered

    justshatered


    People discussing the money Soros made the day the UK left the ERM.
    What is not widely known is the fact he borrowed £5B (yes that’s BILLION) from the Bank of England the week before. They thought he was going to use the money to support the pound, which at that ime was at the mercy of the money markets and bumping along the bottom of it’s allowed banding within the ERM system.
    As the UK governments position became even more untenable Mr soros about turned and turned the lot into the German Marks.
    The rest is history; the pound collapsed against the Mark, it fell through the floor of its permitted ERM banding, interest rates went to 15%, and ultimately the UK left the ERM. Soros then changed the money back handed his loan, plus interest back to the Bank of England and walked away with £1B (yes that’s BILLION) profit.
    I think I read somewhere that it cost every man, woman, and child in the UK at that time something in the region of £15 each.

    That is how markets work!
    They prey on the weak and vulnerable or buy into the strong to make them stronger.
    Now what category do you think ‘The Rangers’ fall into?

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  29. nawlite


    Eco, thanks for feedback on the letter.

    I just cut and pasted from word, where the formatting is fine re paras.
    The rule and default punishment actually seems pretty clear cut when it comes to suspended players, but not so specific when dealing with mis-registered players. That’s why I make specific comment on them not being identical, but having the same effect.

    Interesting thoughts on making it more suggestion-focussed. Will think about that. Cheers.

    View Comment
  30. easyJambo


    ecobhoy says: August 9, 2014 at 9:40 am

    I actually haven’t seen the UEFA rule book section dealing with the matter as I’ve been pretty busy last couple of days. But I would be surprised if there wasn’t some leeway allowed in the level of punishment dependant on how seriously any breach was viewed.
    ————————-
    UEFA Disciplinary Regulations for 2014/15
    http://www.uefa.org/MultimediaFiles/Download/Regulations/uefaorg/UEFACompDisCases/02/11/23/49/2112349_DOWNLOAD.pdf

    Article 21 – Forfeit
    1 If a match cannot take place or cannot be played in full, the member association or club responsible forfeits the match.
    2 A match is declared forfeit if a player who has been suspended following a disciplinary decision participates in the match.
    3 A match may be declared forfeit if a player who is ineligible under the regulations of the competition concerned participates in the match, as long as the opposing team files a protest.
    4 The consequences of a match being declared forfeit are as follows:
    a) the team forfeiting the match is deemed to have lost 3-0 (5-0 in futsal competitions), unless the actual result is less favourable to the member association or club at fault, in which case that result stands;
    b) if necessary, the UEFA administration amends the member association or club’s ranking in the relevant competition accordingly.
    5 If a match is declared forfeit, offences committed during the match remain punishable.

    UEFA Champions League Regulations 2014/15http://www.uefa.com/MultimediaFiles/Download/Regulations/competitions/Regulations/01/79/68/69/1796869_DOWNLOAD.pdf

    Article 18 extracts
    18.01 In order to be eligible to participate in the UEFA club competitions, players must be registered with UEFA within the requested deadlines to play for a club and fulfil all the conditions set out in the following provisions. Only eligible players can serve pending suspensions
    18.05 The club bears the legal consequences for fielding a player who is not named on list A or B, or who is otherwise not eligible to play.
    18.13 List A has to be submitted by the following fixed deadlines:
    a) 25 June 2012 (24.00 CET) for all matches in the first qualifying round;
    b) 12 July 2012 (24.00 CET) for all matches in the second qualifying round;
    c) 26 July 2012 (24.00 CET) for all matches in the third qualifying round;

    View Comment
  31. yourhavingalaugh

    yourhavingalaugh


    Soros involvemnt would give Chuckles another Xmas panto platform,he will be scripting his speech as we wait ,will he get a card this year from the SFA or SPL ,in last years speech Chuckles stated he didnt participate in alcholic beverages,well I hope to participate in whatever he is on because for sure it good stuff.

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  32. fara1968


    Thanks Kilgore and Eco for your replies 🙂
    Indeed the two yeast molecules. A story that is unfortunately a great analogy for much of modern life.
    Proper austerity over the years may have, like the yeast molecules , led to more clubs producing some fine champagne, even doing so unwittingly.

    View Comment
  33. Smugas


    On form today chaps. Definitely two of the best FT headlines we’re never likely to see.

    IF SOROS INVESTS I’LL EAT MY FACE

    And

    SOROS CONSORTIA MAKES £1BN IN ONE DAY: MISERABLE HOORS NEVER PHONED ME!

    View Comment
  34. ecobhoy


    Soros Fund Managers doesn’t just bear the name of George Soros – it was founded by him in 1969 and he remains chairman to this day.

    According to Forbes, George Soros is ranked 35th on the list of the world’s richest people, with an estimated net worth of $14.2 billion.

    Soros Fund Management – reported in 2010 as one of the most profitable firms in the hedge fund industry has been restructured and Soros Fund Management LLC is now a privately held American investment management firm currently structured as a family office according to wikipedia.

    Worth defining ‘Family Office’:

    A family office or single family office (SFO) is a private company that manages investments and trusts for a single family.[1] The company’s financial capital is the family’s own wealth, often accumulated over many family generations.

    More recently the term “family office” or multi family office is used to refer primarily to financial services for relatively wealthy families.

    So we have the old Charlie ploy of playing on words – Who is he dealing with? Is it Soros himself or the Soros family through their Family Office?

    Charlie didn’t invest a single penny of hard cash in Rangers but it must be remembered he has a track-record of being a very very good AIM salesman in persuading others to invest their moneys in ‘projects’ he has been involved with.

    None more so than Arif Naqvi who appears to have been involved with Blue Pitch Holdings – original investors in Sevco 5088 and then Sevco Scotland back in May 2012. See: http://scotslawthoughts.wordpress.com/2013/02/07/ecojon-on-the-greenmcmurdo-discrepancy-and-mr-naqvis-investment-in-rangers/

    I have never ever underestimated Green’s ability at getting his hands on other people’s money and making money from it. So who knows where the truth lies 😆

    But why of why has the SMSM not contacted Soros or his family office and asked if they are considering an investment in Rangers? And how exactly are they going to achieve that as the option of buying fresh shares isn’t open to them?

    Does that mean that possibly the owners of the onerous contracts are about to ditch their current shareholdings? Of course if they do then no doubt they will keep their onerous contracts which seem to be draining the club of cash and are apparently unbreakable as far as the current Board appears to think.

    View Comment
  35. Smugas


    On a more serious note there isn’t much we can do if some mug punter, whether a teddy bear or a world famous investment guru decides to top up CG’s pension fund, with an upturn in RFCs footballing fortunes being a mere byproduct as long as fictional investment isn’t used to leverage the teddies on an emotional blackmail ticket. Similarly I share Mcfc ‘s view that the big boys will always find a way round FPP.

    I’m just a little nervous that a master plan is afoot complete with PR overdrive that is leaning heavily on “it’s the start of the season what are they going to, chuck us out?”

    Yes, but only if it’s merited. Dundee already paid the price last year with us all hand wringing.

    View Comment
  36. ecobhoy


    easyJambo says:
    August 9, 2014 at 10:39 am
    ecobhoy says:
    August 9, 2014 at 9:40 am

    I actually haven’t seen the UEFA rule book section dealing with the matter as I’ve been pretty busy last couple of days. But I would be surprised if there wasn’t some leeway allowed in the level of punishment dependant on how seriously any breach was viewed.
    =========================================================
    Thanks for that ej

    View Comment
  37. scottc

    scottc


    The proposed George Soros ‘investment’ is nothing of the kind, of course. He is allegedly offering 20p per share so £10m buys pretty much all of it without any money making its way into the club itself; it all goes to the existing shareholders. It also gives the new ‘owners’ complete ownership of Ibrox and MP and Edmiston House and the Car park. Probably not bad for £10m with the ability to sell on the football club with or without its £16m+ debt to RIFC to anyone who might want to spend their hard earned

    View Comment
  38. coineanachantaighe


    Just thought we should remember it’s not just up here that dodgy football club owners are at it:

    http://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2014/aug/08/blackpool-financial-affairs-under-fire-championship?commentpage=1

    View Comment
  39. theoldcourse


    I note todays reports that the man tipped to replace Vincent Lunny as the SFA’s compliance officer is a lawyer named Tony McGlennan. I worry that the poor chap has a too “timmy” sounding name to be universally welcomed.

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  40. Castofthousands


    parttimearab says:
    August 9, 2014 at 9:43 am

    “What is the “Beaufort Consortium”?”
    ————————-
    There was some information placed up a few days ago by a well established though recently dormant poster.

    They were pointing out a new name in the circus act which relates to Stockbridge’s new corporate wonga enterprise. I can’t remebemer the name concerned but the post linked two declarations concerning shareholdings which tied it all together. One document concerned BPH and the other Margarita. Beaufort was listed on both documents if I recall correctly. They may have been share nominees.

    I can’t find any links handy so I’m afraid you’ll have to follow this up on your own.

    I’ve just belatedly found one:

    http://www.investegate.co.uk/rangers-int-f-c–plc/rns/holding-in-company/201309201746395830O/

    Here’s the other :

    http://www.investegate.co.uk/rangers-int-f-c–plc–rfc-/rns/holding-in-company/201309201749205838O/

    The character that ties it together is Sanjeev Verma.

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  41. Allyjambo

    Allyjambo


    Although both the BBC and DR reports are clearly from the same press conference, their reports are markedly different, with the DR suggesting George Sorros, himself, is involved, although they do say ‘claimed’ to be involved, and the Beeb reporting it’s Sorros Fund Managers. Now both give more or less identical quotes from Green, who makes no mention of either George Sorros or Sorros Fund Managers. So where did they both get the name ‘Sorros’ from? Could it be that Green only mentioned the connection ‘off the record’ to them individually? I certainly can’t think of any other reason why both reports would miss such an important quote, if there was one. Clearly both reporters didn’t come up with the name themselves, so someone had to give it to them, probably with Chris McGlaughlin having the sense to ask if it was George Sorros himself they were (claiming to be) dealing with.

    In truth, the story itself is more about the possible return of Green than George Sorros being interested in investing, with a similar ring to when he first appeared, as again he’s going to be the board representative of his consortium should his plan come to pass, with the combined voting power to do whatever he wants.

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  42. RyanGosling

    RyanGosling


    23 pages of comments now TSFM. How about a new blog, eh?!

    (Tongue firmly in cheek)

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  43. parttimearab


    Castofthousands says:
    August 9, 2014 at 11:47 am
    —————————
    Thanks COT.

    A quick Google or two and it turns out that they share an address with Hoodless Brennan…ex stomping ground of Imran Ahmad….such a small world we live in…

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  44. GoosyGoosy


    Dearie Me

    So the latest name drop is Sorus Fund Management
    ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    Have these MSM numpties not learnt anything in the past 3 yrs?

    Have they forgotten that Spivs create Spiv Cos with names very similar to respected businesses ?
    Have they forgotten that Spivs tell lies more often than they tell the truth?
    Have they forgotten that TRFC Spivs lied repeatedly to them at press conferences they attended ?
    ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    And as for those in the MSM who know nothing about Hedge funds

    Don`t they know that Hedge funds are run by super Spivs?

    People with no interest in football?

    View Comment
  45. wottpi


    “Invest in Rangers you say. Did you Soros comin doon ra Clyde in a bananae boat?”

    I”all get ma coat!!

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  46. Trisidium


    Okay Ryan. Now that the story embargo has been lifted, there’s a new post up now with exclusive Hibbeee thingy and podcast as promised earlier

    I’ll close the comments on this one 🙂

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