To Comply or not to Comply ?

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UEFA Club Licensing. – To Comply or not to Comply ?

On 16 April 2018 The UEFA Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) adjudicatory chamber took decisions in the cases of four clubs that had been referred to it by the CFCB chief investigator, concerning the non-fulfilment of the club licensing criteria defined in the UEFA Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations.

Such criteria must be complied with by the clubs in order to be granted the licence required to enter the UEFA club competitions.

The cases of two clubs::

Olympique des Alpes SA (Sion Switzerland )

and

FC Irtysh  (Kazakhstan) 

are of particular interest to those following the events under which the SFA awarded a UEFA License to Rangers FC in 2011 currently under investigation by the SFA Compliance Officer because

  1. The case documentation tell us how UEFA wish national associations to apply UEFA FFP rules
  2. The cases  tell us what might have happened to Rangers  FC in 2012 had they not gone into liquidation and as a consequence avoided the same type of sanctions that UEFA applied to Sion and Irtysh.

 

FC Sion  (Olympique des Alpes SA)

Here we are told how the Swiss FL and then the UEFA CFCB acted in respect of FC Sion in 2017 where a misleading statement was made in the Sion UEFA licensing application.

Full details can be read at

http://tiny.cc/y6sxsy

 

but this is a summary.

In April 2017 the Swiss FL (SFL) granted a licence to Sion FC but indicated that a Disciplinary case was pending.

In July 2017 the CFCB, as part of their licence auditing programme,  carried out a compliance audit on 3 clubs to determine if licences had been properly awarded. Sion was one of those clubs.

The subsequent audit by Deloitte LLP discovered Sion had an overdue payable on a player, amounting to €950,000, owed to another football club (FC Sochaux ) at 31st March 2017 as a result of a transfer undertaken by Sion before 31st December 2016, although the €950,000 was paid in early June 2017.

Deloitte produced a draft report of their findings that was passed to SFL and Sion for comment on factual accuracy and comment on the findings. Sion responded quickly enabling Deloitte to present a final report to the CFCB Investigation Unit. In response to the Deloitte final report Sion stated:

“il apparaît aujourd’hui qu’il existait bel et bien un engagement impayé découlant d’une activité de transfert. Ce point est admis” translated as

“it now appears that there was indeed an outstanding commitment arising from transfer activity. This is admitted”

What emerged as the investigation proceeded was that the Swiss FL Licensing Committee, after granting the license in April and as a result of a Sochaux complaint of non-payment to FIFA, had reason to refer Sion’s application to their Disciplinary Commission in May 2017 with regard to the submission of potentially misleading information by FC Sion to the SFL on 7th April 2017 as part of its licensing documentation.

Sion had declared

“Written confirmation: no overdue payables arising from transfer activities”, signed by the Club’s president, stating that as at 31 March 2017 there were no overdue payables towards other football clubs. In particular, the Club indicated that the case between FC Sion and FC Sochaux regarding the transfer of the player Ishmael Yartey was still under dispute.

The SFL Disciplinary Commission came to the conclusion that FC Sion had no intention to mislead the SFL, but indeed submitted some incorrect licensing documentation; the SFL Disciplinary Commission further confirmed that the total amount of €950,000 had been paid by the Club to FC Sochaux on 7 June 2017. Because of the inaccurate information submitted, the SFL Disciplinary Commission decided to impose a fine of CHF 8,000 on the Club.

Whilst this satisfied the SFL Disciplinary process the CFCB deemed it not enough to justify the granting of the licence as UEFA intended their FFP rules to be applied.

Sion provided the CFCB with a number of reasons on the basis of which no sanction should be imposed. In particular, the Club admitted that there was an overdue payable as at 31 March 2017, but stated that the mistake in the document dated 7 April 2017 was the result of a misinterpretation by the club’s responsible person for dealing with the licence (the “Club’s licence manager”), who is not a lawyer. The Club affirmed that it never had the intention to conceal the information and had provisioned the amount due for payment and that, in any case, it has already been sanctioned by the SFL for providing the wrong information.

The CFCB Investigation Unit accepted that the Sion application, although inaccurate, was a one off misrepresentation and not a forgery, (as in intended to deceive ) but that nevertheless an overdue payable did exist at 31st March and a licence should not have been granted.

Based on their findings, the CFCB Chief Investigator decided to refer the case to the CFCB Adjudicatory Chamber and suggested a disciplinary measure to be imposed on FC Sion by the CFCB Adjudicatory Chamber, such measure consisting of a fine of €235,000, corresponding to the UEFA Revenues the Club gained by participating in the 2017/2018 UEFA Europa League.

The CFCB Investigatory Chamber submitted that it was  appropriate to impose a fine corresponding to all the UEFA revenues the Club gained by participating in the competition considering the fact that FC Sion should not have been admitted to the competition for failing to meet one of its admission criteria.

 

The Adjudicatory Chambers took all the circumstances (see paras 91 to 120 at http://tiny.cc/i8sxsy ) into consideration and reached the following key decisions.

  1. FC Sion failed to satisfy the requirements of Article 49(1) of the CL&FFP Regulations and it obtained the licence issued by the SFL not in accordance with the CL&FFP Regulations.
  2. FC Sion breached Articles 13(1) and 43(1)(i) of the CL&FFP Regulations. (Documents complete and correct)
  3. To exclude FC Sion from participating in the next UEFA club competition for which it would otherwise qualify in the next two (2) seasons (i.e. the 2018/19 and 2019/20).
  4. To impose a fine of two hundred and thirty five thousand Euros (€235,000) on FC Sion.
  5. FC Sion is to pay three thousand Euros (€3,000) towards the costs of these proceedings.

Comment in respect of the award of a UEFA Licence in 2011 to Rangers FC.

It is now public knowledge that an actual liability of tax due before 31stDecember 2010 towards HMRC, was admitted by Rangers FC before 31st March 2011.

This liability was described as “potential” in Rangers Interim accounts audited by Grant Thornton.

“Note 1: The exceptional item reflects a provision for a potential tax liability in relation to a Discounted Option Scheme associated with player contributions between 1999 and 2003. A provision for interest of £0.9m has also been included within the interest charge.”

The English Oxford Dictionary definition of potential is:

Having or showing the capacity to develop into something in the future.

Which was not true as the liability had already been “developed” so could not be potential.

This was repeated by Chairman Alistair Johnson in his covering Interim Accounts statement

“The exceptional item reflects a provision for a potential tax liability in relation to a Discounted Option Scheme associated with player contributions between 1999 and 2003. “  where he also added

“Discussions are continuing with HMRC to establish a resolution to the assessments raised.”

This could be taken as disputing the liability but In fact the resolution to the assessments raised would have been payment of the actual liability, something that never happened.

In the Sion case it was accepted the misleading statement was a one off misrepresentation, but at the monitoring stages at June 2011 in Ranger’s case the status of the liability continued to be misrepresented and in September the continuing discussions reason was repeated, along with a claim of an instalment paid whose veracity is highly questionable.

The Swiss FL Licensing Committee did at least refer the case to their Disciplinary Committee when they realised a misleading statement might have been made. The SFA however in August 2011, when Sherriff Officers called at Ibrox for payment of the overdue tax , did no such thing and pulled up the drawbridge for six years, one that the Compliance Officer is now finally charged with lowering.

 


 

The case of FC Irtysh of Kazakhstan is set out in full at http://tiny.cc/y9sxsy  and is a bit more straightforward but is nevertheless useful to compare with events in 2011 in Scotland.

Unlike Rangers FC , FC Irtysh properly disclosed that they had an overdue payable to the Kazakhstan tax authorities at the monitoring point at 30th June 2017. This caused the CFCB Investigatory Unit to seek further information with regard to the position at 31st March

It transpired that Irtysh had declared an overdue payable at 31st March but cited their financial position (awaiting sponsor money) as a reason for non payment to the Kazakhstan FA who accepted it and granted the licence. The outstanding tax was paid in September 2107.

The outcome of the CFCB Investigation was a case put to the CFCB Adjudicatory Chamber  who agreed with the CFCB Investigation Unit that a licence should not have been granted and recommended that Irtysh be fined the equivalent of the UEFA prize money, (that had been withheld in any case whilst CFCB investigated.)

The CFCB Adjudicatory Chamber however decided that a fine was not sufficient in sporting deterrent terms and ruled that:

 

  1.  FC Irtysh failed to satisfy the requirements of Article 50bis(1) of the CL&FFP Regulations and it obtained the licence issued by the FFK not in accordance with the CL&FFP Regulations.
  2. To withhold four hundred and forty thousand Euros (€440,000) corresponding to the UEFA revenues FC Irtysh gained by participating in the 2017/2018 UEFA Europa League.
  3. To exclude FC Irtysh from participating in the next UEFA club competition for which it would otherwise qualify in the next three (3) seasons (i.e. the 2018/19, 2019/20 and 2020/21 seasons). This sanction is deferred for a probationary period of (3) three years. This exclusion must be enforced in case the Club participates again in a UEFA club competition having not fulfilled the licence criteria required to obtain the UEFA licence in accordance with the CL&FFP Regulations.
  4. FC Irtysh is to pay three thousand Euros (€3,000) towards the costs of these proceedings. “

 

The deferral was because unlike Rangers FC,  FC Irtysh had properly disclosed to the licensor the correct & accurate financial information required, so the exclusion was deferred for a probationary period of (3) years.

 

Comment in respect of the award of a UEFA Licence in 2011 to Rangers FC.

From the foregoing it could be deduced that had Rangers FC qualified for the Champions League (or European League) and not gone bust as a result and so not entered liquidation BUT it became public knowledge by 2012 that a licence had been wrongly and possibly fraudulently granted then

  1. Rangers would have been fined the equivalent of their earnings from their participation in the UEFA competitions in 2011
  2. At least a two year ban from UEFA Competitions would have been imposed, but more likely three in view of repeated incorrect statements.
  3. The consequences of both would have been as damaging for Rangers survival as the real life consequences of losing to Malmo and Maribor in the qualifying rounds of the Champions and European Leagues.

Karma eh!

Interestingly in the UEFA COMPLIANCE AND INVESTIGATION ACTIVITY REPORT 2015 – 2017 , the CFCB investigatory chamber recommended that both the Kazakhstan FA and Swiss FA as licensors

“pay particular attention to the adequate disclosure of the outstanding amounts payable towards other football clubs, in respect of employees and towards social/tax authorities, which must be disclosed separately;

Would the same recommendation apply to the Scottish FA with regard to their performance in 2011 and will the  SFA responses thereafter to shareholders in a member club be examined for compliance with best governance practice by the SFA Compliance Officer investigating the processing of the UEFA Licence in 2011?

This would be a welcome step in fully restoring trust in the SFA.

7185 COMMENTS


  1. Nobody is suggesting EBT’s weren’t a scam , and without wanting to offend anyone , I don’t need lectured about their toxocity and the cheating effect of them
    Nobody has been saying this for longer and more consistently then me . Nobody 

    To claim the players were fully aware of the enormous detail of the scheme and why it was toxic and was cheating all other clubs is another matter altogether

    Did Rangers cheat ____of course they did . However that was down to Murray and his board , allied to SFA incompetence/ complicity 

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  2. BARCABHOY. It wasn’t my intention to lecture and I apologise if it came across that way.
    I just feel that, on an individual level, each player and/or agent must have had an inkling that there was something not quite right. 
    The wider ramifications? Of course what you say is correct, but that doesn’t excuse individuals (perhaps especially agents) of their individual shortcomings. 

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  3. Players of many teams and others in the public eye, notably entertainers, have fallen foul of tax schemes. Juninho Paulista of course had the only one at Celtic that Brian Quinn quickly kiboshed, paying, er, back tax (and interest?) – I believe though that was started at the player/agent’s request? Also Neil Lennon (amongst many,many others) got busted in that film related scheme IIRC…

    I appreciate the position of the “hang em high” posse, but paying back tax and interest is going to be damn near impossible to many ex-players as their peak earning years are obviously well behind them. They will be under serious financial pressure. What’s the score with foreign players? Is there an agreement amongst EU nations to sort out this stuff or would it only be applied if they were resident or even visiting in the UK…

    Thanks also to Barca (May 28, 08:16) for the summary of Peter Lawwell’s interview with Celtic Underground – Barca posted a much more erudite description of the travails facing The Stevie Ger Revolution’s recruitment issue than my crack-handed efforts: my insights were mostly gained from the PC game “Championship Manager” now of course Football Manager (still same game though not always the same company!).

    DannyFergus – yeah I was on holiday last few days and had the pop up ads that I couldn’t get rid of on my iPhone  – “1000th person so you win a prize” bullshot – Big Pink/ please find a way to not accept those format ads if you can, especially as one was flagged with. Dubious website warning that it was passing off as a Samsung site…

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  4. To try and put some context from a players perspective 

    Put yourself in the position where you want to buy an investment property. You have £250,000 to invest and an estate agent brings you a deal that looks incredible value . You don’t know anything about property investment and are concerned about the deal being too good 

    It should be worth £350,000 but there might be a future issue with road development and land which has old coal minings below your building 

    The estate agent , the surveyor and your lawyer all assure you nothing will be a problem. The seller ( a property investment company ) goes as far as to guarantee any losses. Your lawyer says do the deal , the seller is rock solid 

    This all happens in 2007 . Then Lehman Bros hits the buffers , the property investment company goes bust , the estate agent shuts down and the surveyor is jailed for giving improper advice 

    You have to take the hit. Not only is the building not worth £350,000 it’s virtually worthless because the road development all your advisors and guarantors said wouldn’t happen , has in fact happened 

    it’s your responsibility , but who’s the bad guy ? 

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  5. I remember a friend trying to explain the term, ‘culpable ignorance’, to me. (It’s based on the parable of judgement day, the sheep and the goats – but when did we see you naked or hungry or thirsty ? etc..)
    It would appear to me that the EBTers were at the very least, guilty of culpable ignorance. While I would not wish eternal damnation on them, they should not be walking away from this untainted morally. They certainly shouldn’t be being paraded on the BBC on a weekly basis, nor should they be managing Scotland, – all paid for by the people they ‘unwittingly’ cheated.

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  6. BARCABHOY. I agree with you in your hypothetical (?!?) example. I do feel, though, with the trust payments there was at least one warning flag; a side letter that wasn’t to be disclosed; not to the football authorities and not to HMRC. Of course, the huge culprit here is Murray, aided and abetted by others.

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  7. BARCABHOYMAY 29, 2018 at 09:53

    Trust no-one (especially when large sums of money are involved) and if a deal seems to good to be true then there is most probably a catch.

    Simples.

    I think we have to get away from the old idea of footballers brains being in their feet.

    They may not be blessed with Stephen Hawking type intellect but like a tradesman taking cash payments to avoid putting stuff through the books they will have had a good idea of the general principles of what they were getting into even if they didn’t fully understand it.

    I have no doubt what so ever that others, the club, advisors etc,  would have laid down the risks to the players to protect themselves from any future fall out and legal action.

    If the players had any issues or concerns then surely they could have sought guidance from their manager, but as we know even these ‘more intelligent’ folks within the game were all in on it as well.

    Very little sympathy or understanding from me at this end I’m afraid.

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  8. A TALL MONITOR

    MAY 29, 2018 at 09:35

    I just feel that, on an individual level, each player and/or agent must have had an inkling that there was something not quite right. The wider ramifications? Of course what you say is correct, but that doesn’t excuse individuals (perhaps especially agents) of their individual shortcomings. 
    ——————————————-

    I wonder what amount the agent(s) would have received in commission: a percentage of the declared salary, or a percentage of the declared salary plus EBT? (My money’s on the second option, BTW!)

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  9. A Tall Monitor
    There is no requirement , indeed there is not even a facility for players or agents to lodge information with the SFA 

    It is the sole responsibility of the Club to provide all contract details. Not only that , the player and agent would be unaware of what the Club have provided to the SFA .

    To those of the  rest of the forum who blame  Rangers players , let me give another example of from a players perspective.

    I have a good friend in California , who plays in our Friday golf game, who was a very famous hugely successful picher in major league baseball. Played for the NY Mets , The NY Yankees and the LA Dodgers amongst others. He’s a 1 handicap golfer and one of the most humble decent helpful guys you would ever hope to meet

    One day after golf we were having a drink and he explained to me about the tax challenges for Baseball players. Americans pay Federal and State taxes. The Federal rate is the same no matter where you live. The State rate varies wildly . California has the highest rate of State income tax ( the paradise tax ) whilst States like Texas , Florida and Nevada have a zero rate of State Income Tax

    The challenge is that you have to file returns in every State that you play a game in . For example if you play for the Miami Marlins then every home game you play attracts no State Tax, but when you play against The San Diego Padres or the New York Yankees you are taxed at California or New York rates . Given half your games are played away from home and in as many as 20 different States.

    To file your returns properly you need a Tax Account resident in the State you are filing in . So you could have as many as 20 different advisors plus a financial manager who oversees the entire thing . It’s complex , it’s expensive and a player is entirely in the hands of his advisors.

    My friend was fortunate , he never had any issues . However he brought a pal to the club one day who wasn’t so lucky . He had bad advisors who cut corners and it cost him a fortune in late payment and interst penalties .

    I think it’s enormously unfair to the Rangers players to assume they should know exactly what was required and what was acceptable in the use of a very complex scheme. Players from France, Holland , Germany , Russia , Belgium and the USA are supposed to understand a UK Tax scheme !!
    Blaming the players is deflecting from the real guilty people. Murray, King, Johnston, Bain and the rest of the Rangers board 

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  10. I feel that the SFA and the current Entity plying it’s trade out of Ibrox has played an absolute blinder with the 5 Way Agreement.
    Many thanks to Cluster One for putting it up yesterday I have only just caught up with the post this morning again (thanks  bud 04appreciated)
    Having gone through it it is fairly obvious why they chose to make it a secret and why the Administrators for Rangers Fc decided to insert a wee get out clause in Sect 3 should any of it hit the light of day and see the inside of a Court at any point in the future.
    They knew (as did all the other signatories) that the Entity they represented that is Rangers Football Club was a Legal Entity not separate from the Company it became when it Incorporated in 1897 but one and the same.
    The result being the fantasy of continuity via Charles Greenes Newco Phoenix Club but without the obvious Legal Contradictions that would apply if this was even possible.
    The players Tax issue involving Oldco ie Rangers Fc is not actually an issue that affects the current Entity at Ibrox.
    The two are not Legally bound.
    Hence why HMRC are not hounding The Current Entity for any back Tax left unpaid by either Rangers Fc or it’s previous EBT Side Lettered employees.
    That Ship has sailed floundered on the rocks and sunk.
    Focus on the real issue here folks.
    The 5 Way Agreement is one almighty hoodwink cobbled together for the purpose of presenting an unfounded continuation of the now very deceased Rangers Fc.
    I’m not claiming to be a legal person but I can read and it does clearly state both in the Government Guide to Incorporating a Club to the Legal Stance of Companies House that Rangers Fc the Club who Incorporated in 1897 was liquidated.
    It is my opinion the SFA need to address this issue first before we can move on and as Mr Maxwell states “Inspire a Nation”.
    Inspire us all MrMaxwell and make this document public then let us have an Independent Legal body pick over the bones of what seems on the surface to be a Clandestine Agreement put together to help facilitate a lie.
    Rangers did not survive Liquidation 
    Charles Green stated on camera previous to the CVA rejection that should this happen Rangers would cease to exist.
    He was absolutely incredulous that anyone with a genuine affection for Rangers could suggest that this would be the correct route to take-reference to Dave King suggestion that this was the road to take .
    Ironic he now controls the Tribute Act and is selling it as one and the same don’t you think?
    This was then totally ignored when the 5 Way Agreement was signed.
    The initial claim by Greene was then subsequently reinforced when his own QC stood up in Court and declared the truth of the matter that all they bought was a basket of Assets.
    Not Rangers Football Club which no longer existed as a Legal Entity.
    The Govt Guidlines here:
    https://www.lbhf.gov.uk/sites/default/files/A_Guide_to_Starting_a_Sports_Club_tcm21-149209.pdf
    Clearly back this up.

    Does it actually matter about the Side letters?
    No I think the focus should firmly be on the 5 Way hoodwink.

    The actual root of every issue since.

    Just how I see it.

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  11. BarcabhoyMay 29, 2018 at 09:53
    To try and put some context from a players perspective.
    _____________________________________________

    Financial advisers should offer risk assessments when advising clients and they will come in one of the following types of format…

    Warning: The value of your investment may go down as well as up.
    Warning: If you invest in this product you may lose some or all of the money you invest.

    Investors should balance their portfolio (cash, bonds, stock market, property, pension provision) with due regard to current and inheritance tax) to make sure they are not over-exposed to a particular sector, or that they have sufficient liquidity if they need cash to see them over a fall in that market/property sector.

    As to those who believe that their portfolio should include a football company then I see only a couple of good reasons, for attend AGM and ask questions on company matters (and I gifted my some some Aberdeen FC shares). Those who were in on the original flotation of Rangers shares “Green shafted Whyte” seemed to know what they were doing, but few had a ticket for this gravy train.

    Of course there is still no shortage of people who will offer “get rich quick schemes” – pyramid schemes, Ponzi schemes – to those who want to have their snout in a money trough. I have no sympathy for either. Both see a pile of footballer cash in the hands of a few which has to be maximised before a playing or management career ends. But no-one should pretend innocence; we’ve heard them (A didnae ken; too complicated for me).

    “Bad guys” –  there were none. But “good guys”, there were none either.

    Caveat emptor!

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  12.   For my part, the players in receipt of EBT’S knew it was somewhat less than Kosher, and remained unsure. Asking for, and getting the indemnity, didn’t alter the  kosherness of what was going down, but it did mean, (in their eyes) that if it was discovered not to be Kosher, their backs were covered. 
        So did it anyway. 
        If Rangers(I.L.) never imploded, that would be the situation today. The fact they DID implode doesn’t alter the greed, and immorality of the player’s  actions. 
        On a side(but related note), and I am sure some of our document scrutinisers will know. 
    Do football players sign their registration papers?…Or is it submitted completely alien to their involvement.
        If not, it is purely a tax issue, and not our concern to argue the toss over their culpability……But if they do, or have signed it,…. it becomes very much our concern. 

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  13. Re: this RFC(IL) EBT band of brothers: I can see some justification for the ‘extenuating circumstances’ argument being put forward by Barcabhoy.

    That said: how long have all these EBT beneficiaries know that there might be a significant problem with the way they were recompensed by Rangers*?  (‘The club’ went to the wall 6 years ago and a great deal of chatter about the subject has been generated since then, to which they (and their advisers) can scarcely have been oblivious.)

    Have they sought or received professional advice regarding the train that has long been known to be heading down the track towards them?

    How many of those EBT beneficiaries have either paid back any of their ‘loans’ or made any sort of provision to do so?

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  14. Well, call me an idiot! 

    Notice board in the corridor of Parliament House. 

    One sheet has ‘Lord Brailsford’   unstarred motion P997/17 Note: RFC 2012 Plc for orders under 4.16

    Another sheet has ‘Lord Doherty’  starred motion P997/17 Note: RFC 2012 Plc for orders under 4.16

    So, I go to Court 8, Lord Doherty.

    And I sit from 10.00 till 11.30 or so, wondering  whether ‘contamination’ as used in a contract for building repairs might mean include ‘asbestos’ and what that might have to do with the Liquidators of RFC(IL).

    At the break, I had a chat with a gentleman of the Press, and we both had a word with the Clerk.

    It seems that P997/17 was NOT scheduled for today, either for Lord Brailsford or for Lord Doherty. A complete mistake, balls-up: because it will not be scheduled for another week or two!

    And what the gentleman of the Press and I had sat through ( he for a shorter period than I) was a commercial-court hearing involving companies absolutely unconnected with RFC(IL)!

    You will understand from any of my previous reports that it is entirely possible to sit listening to QCs and not have a scooby about what they are talking about.

    But still, call me an idiot! I was actually taking notes!

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  15. Ignorantia juris non excusat
    Ignorantia legis neminem excusat
     
    Ignorance of the law excuses not.
    Ignorance of law excuses no one.
     
    Caveat emptor
    Let the buyer beware.
     
    “Gavin Rae signed a three and a half-year contract with Rangers on 1 January 2004. This contract- the official one filed with the SFA & SPL- lists an annual wage of £260,000. Curiously, the contract does not mention appearance money or bonuses. On the very same day, 1 January 2004, Rangers provided Gavin Rae with a letter that said that money would be deposited in a sub-trust of the Murray Group Management Remuneration Trust on his behalf. These amounts total £336,000. The letter also said that Rae would receive £1,000 as an appearance fee for every competitive first-team game played. From February 2004 to July 2007, Rae received five payments totalling £336,000. He also received the following amounts through the EBT for appearances: £11,000 (2003/04); £8,000 (2005/06); £20,000 (2006/07). The appearance money matches his first team appearances for Rangers.
    This side letter torpedoes the argument that these payments were not contractual. (A simple guide to contract formation under Scots Law can be found here. Short version: these letters constitute a contract under Scots Law). This letter, and the others like it, demonstrate that Rangers used the EBT scheme to pay wages (appearance money) and contractual obligations related to employment. This is just one fragment of the masses of evidence that demonstrate that Rangers were “at it”.
    RTC
     
    If  Mr Rae did not query that then “hell mend him” as my wife would say.

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  16. WOODSTEINMAY 29, 2018 at 13:49
    Ignorantia juris non excusatIgnorantia legis neminem excusat Ignorance of the law excuses not.Ignorance of law excuses no one. Caveat emptorLet the buyer beware. “Gavin Rae signed a three and a half-year contract with Rangers on 1 January 2004. This contract- the official one filed with the SFA & SPL- lists an annual wage of £260,000. Curiously, the contract does not mention appearance money or bonuses. On the very same day, 1 January 2004, Rangers provided Gavin Rae with a letter that said that money would be deposited in a sub-trust of the Murray Group Management 
         ————————————————————————————————–
       Woodstein, are you confirming that the players were aware of the contents (and lack of) of the registration forms lodged with the governing bodies?. 
        That WOULD make it a completely new ball-game, and the players themselves, could rightly be called cheats. 
       On the subject of registrations, I came across this, which upholds my thinking that there was zero need for LNS to become involved, other than to provide the governing bodies with a get-out clause to applying their own rules.
     https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/15672375 
         “Scottish Cup rules now state that any club that plays a player who is ineligible will be thrown out of the competition.
    The rules also state that neither the judicial panel or anyone at the SFA has the authority to change this rule.
            ————————————————————
    Can anybody expand on this “Rule”, and why, in a SFA run competition, nobody at the SFA, has the authority to change it?

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  17. DUNDERHEIDMAY 29, 2018 at 12:30

    Well we know that one of the EBT recipients, who had a sketchy employment history and had been out of work for a couple of years, got a bit of help from someone he knew high up in an organisation by giving him two years salary and the bonus of a wee trip to South and Central America.

    Others might not be so lucky and have to head down the Barry Bankruptcy route.

    Either that or folks are scraping up what they can by screwing the public purse once again by using BBC licence payers cash to perhaps settle with Hector.

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  18. JustTheFactsMay 29, 2018 at 11:35

    The 5 Way is a result of the fear of there being no more Rangers and any replacement starting anew.
    It is a contrivance to avoid the commercial disaster that the SFA and SPL feared.
    Green had them over the barrel of that fear.
    The idea of an owning company separate from the club is written into the 5 Way definitions using a rule introducing that “owning” concept that only came into existence in 2005.
    Green wanted the SFA membership transferred and the whole deal depended on it as it provided a basis for arguing continuity.
    There was a normal route for a new club to obtain SFA membership via first Registered, then Associate then Full SFA Membership after 5 years in place in 2012.
    That delay from initial membership status to full is to allow a new club to prove its stability and is mirrored to a lesser but still as important extent by the UEFA Article 12 that will not accept an application for a UEFA licence from any club that does not have more than three years membership of its national association.
    UEFA are clear, in spite of the co efficient table, that they view TRFC/RIFC as a new club under a football company operating construct that is different from RFC.
    Article 14 of SFA Rules Prohibiting Membership Transfer, but with the discretion to allow it, was used to justify a departure from the norm.
    There is an argument the SFA could use to get them off the hook and that is that UEFA rules and the integrity they are designed to protect, take precedence and that the 5 Way breached Article 12 of UEFA FFP in that respect but was done with what they viewed as in the best interests of Scottish football, but time has proved them wrong.
    SFA and SPFL could apologise to all supporters for getting it wrong including those who follow Rangers, who might have benefitted from a much morally stronger gtf to Green and as a successor club  avoided the trials and tribulations brought to them by SFA and SPL moral cowardice in 2012.
    They did the wrong thing for what they thought were the right reasons.
    The wrong thing can never be right. 

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  19. The Latin phrase used in Scots law for a contract is “consensus in idem” agreeing about the same thing 
    EBT lads and Murray certainly had that as well as “a joint pauchle tax to swerve” which is a maxim I just made up.

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  20. Auldheid (or anyone else who might have the knowledge to answer):

    And with apologies if this has already been dealt with (perhaps many months ago): in (drafting and) signing the so called ‘5-way Agreement’, do you know if the officials and senior officers of the SFA, SPL and SFL were each acting within their powers?

    Was the power to progress then conclude negotiations on a matter of such obvious import really in the gift of a secretive cabal, such as those who negotiated and signed the agreement?

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  21. Phil’s latest is rather interesting, and could throw a totally different slant on the incredulous Gerrard move.

    Phil is suggesting that Gerrard was offered the ‘Corporate Ambassador’ role at LFC. 
    So, if correct, then Gerrard was plainly not regarded as future first team manager material?
    Nor, as assistant to Klopp – who lost his right hand man only a few weeks ago.

    A playing legend like Gerrard would probably be insulted at being offered an Ambassador role, IMO.
    [IIRC, Sir Alex has a similar title at MUFC?]

    Anyways, mibbees this was the only offer he got, to manage a first team, with a reasonably high profile: i.e. salary / player budget was not the priority, as TRFC would at least give him a leg up into management and into the ‘shop window’… and which LFC apparently is not prepared to offer?  

    If so, then Gerrard will dutifully turn up at Ibrox, knowing full well that he is facing a rather ‘challenging’ season ahead.

    Silly boy.  14

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  22. Johnclark
    I think Homunculus was referring to his conversation with Barcabhoy. 
    Telling him to stop acting the goat will just rile him up I think.
    Barcabhoy
    Your example with the road and undermining does not account for the arcane provisions of the Compensation Code and other Laws regarding undermining. Given that it kind of proves your point in that it shows how things that at first seem easily understood might have more behind them known in detail to specialists.
    I used to spend many hours teaching the details behind one of the main sections of one of the relevant acts of Parliament it was not very long but court cases on its provisions stretched since the 19th century up to the present day and things thought long established were occasionally overturned with new interpretations of the rules.
    If that is the case about 100 words in one statute I guess the provisions of the tax code shall be at least as difficult.
    It would be ironic if it were successfully argued that the football debt indemnity granted by RFC On EBTs passed to TRFC – how many of the EBT players would be prepared to press that doomsday button it is, they say, the same club.
    I would tend to agree with you that penalties on the tax and interest would perhaps be rather draconian.
    Dignity my ******

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  23. Sorry for the wild goose chase , JC .
    I’m sure I read somewhere that one or more players didn’t fancy the EBT route but were told by Murray that they had no choice in  the matter if they wanted to sign for the club .

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  24. John Clark
    May 29, 2018 at 00:15
    Ach, Homunculus, don’t act the goat!
    What do you mean, ‘I am done’? 

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

    I simply meant with this particular discussion JC, not wanting to go over the same stuff repeatedly.

    I had expressed my view on the subject and didn’t waant to annoy people by keeping repeating it.

    No more than that, mate.

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  25. bfbpuzzledMay 29, 2018 at 14:59
    ============================

    You posted that whilst I was explaining, you are correct it was just in relation to this particular issue.

    On that just one more time, with apologies.

    I believe that given the surrounding circumstances the very least the players (and their representatives) would have been is suspicious about the transactions. Guaranteed non-contractual payments as bonuses for playing football and getting results, paid as loans which are interest free and don’t have to be repaid, with secret side letters confirming the above.

    As I said earlier, did anyone check this with HMRC. It would have taken a free phone call or a written request. If they didn’t it was because they chose not to get an answer they didn’t want to hear. They are as culpable as any other tax avoider.

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  26. paddy malarkey May 29, 2018 at 15:03
    I’m sure I read somewhere that one or more players didn’t fancy the EBT route but were told by Murray that they had no choice in  the matter if they wanted to sign for the club .
    ——————————–
    I think van Bronckhorst declined an EBT.  Dick Advocaat brought him to Rangers in 1998 which was the prime time for Murray’s side letters at Ibrox.  Being such a high profile player there would have been questions asked of him in the dressing room as to why he was the odd one out.  I just cannot accept that all the EBT recipients were oblivious as to the illegality of their ‘remuneration’.  When you receive a formal letter from your employer with the caviat “The terms of this letter are and remain strictly confidential” and signed by the finance director it must sound Klaxton horns and flashing red lights.  Nobody needs super intelligence to know that if someone says “I bought it in a pub” or “You don’t want an invoice, do you?” it’s likely there is something hooky about the deal.  People, including footballers, aren’t that stupid. 

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  27. Statement from Rangers released today.

    https://rangers.co.uk/news/headlines/chairman-calls-for-second-independent-investigation/

    I suspect SFM may well find itself in the unexpected situation where it’s community almost unanimously agree with Dave King.  A proper and wide ranging independent review of the SFA and SPFL could only hurt those who have something to hide and should be welcomed.

    Dave King’s starting point and belief of what the problem is may be very different from many posters on here but lets have the independent scrutiny and find out once and for all what’s going on.  Disappointingly I would suggest that Celtic and other clubs are happy with the status quo and having “their man” in Maxwell now on board at the SFA will strongly resist this.

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  28. JOHN CLARKMAY 29, 2018 at 13:46
    It’s no wonder many regard the workings of the courts as outdated and incompetent. It’s bad enough that most cases start at 10.00 am and finish at 4.00 pm with at least and hour for lunch without the information listed being so totally wrong. The whole thing reeks of incompetence and a couldn’t care less attitude. I spent a whole week on a jury at the high court,on a murder trial, and had to attend every day without hearing any evidence.  At the end it turned out that the main defence QC was on another trial and sent his deputy to raise points of law to delay this case until he was free. I can’t say who the be-whiskered pipe smoking Rangers supporting fellow was!

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  29. HOMUNCULUSMAY 29, 2018 at 15:23
    Totally agree. The players knew what was going on and deserve whatever is coming. One clear fact in life is that taxes must be paid.

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  30. NICK
    MAY 29, 2018 at 16:15
    Statement from Rangers released today.
    https://rangers.co.uk/news/headlines/chairman-calls-for-second-independent-investigation/

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

    “…Scottish football is an important national asset and must have levels of probity and governance that are beyond reproach and that are transparently so.

    Dave King
    Chairman
    29 May 2018”
    =================

    King is just taking the p!ss now. 

    It’s a novel, if confrontational, squirrel, IMO. 

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  31. STEVIEBCMAY 29, 2018 at 16:23
    I think his motivation is largely belligerence and the fact he seems to love a scrap.  Doesn’t change the fact that every fan seems to want transparency and change at the SFA/SPFL but Rangers seem to be the only club agitating for it.
    Changed days indeed.

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  32. This may be old news to many here, just ignore if so.
     
     Source. Rangers Tax case
     
    “It is interesting to see Mr. Dickson try to duck questions around player registration and the requirement to declare of all payments related to playing football. In defiance of logic, Mr. Dickson just sticks doggedly to his (presumably coached) lines of “we didn’t think we had to”. Had he endlessly answered “because We Are The People?” for a whole day under oath it would have made as much sense.
    It is quite a long read but worth the effort for anyone who wants to understand how the ailing mammoth that was Rangers ended up dying in a tar-pit of its own creation. It seems incredible to me that anyone aware of the facts would deem Mr. Dickson fit and proper for any current role in Scottish football let alone allow him to sit on SFA and SPFL committees. Mr. Dickson’s submission starts at the foot of the second page of the file”.
     
    11-mur180411 – Copy
     
    Start at Section 2,  negotiating with players
     

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  33. What are you on about, Dave? He’s a “world class administrator!” Or does Hugh Keevins believe that, that can only be said of EBT user and 27 years at Rangers(IL) so no conflict of interest there, ex SFA president, Campbell Ogilvie?
    Psychologically it certainly sheds light on the goings on between Rangers(IL) and the SFA over the years. Why does King just assume that because his club finessed and manipulated the SFA, other teams must be doing the same? Projection and guilt transference.

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  34. Statement O’clock again.

    They don’t do irony do they?

    THE Club notes with concern the latest disclosure through the media regarding a business relationship which the Chairman of the SPFL has with leading shareholders of a fellow SPFL club.
    This has given rise to allegations of non-disclosure and it is now imperative that we discover exactly the nature of the information supplied to the SPFL regarding this relationship.
    It is equally important that any conflicts of interest, or even the perception of such, whereby positions within the Scottish football authorities could be undermined, or abused, must be aggressively rooted out of our game.
    The SPFL, therefore, must immediately suspend its Chairman pending an independent investigation by a senior QC into the allegations and into the extent that other parties within the SPFL may have cooperated in this alleged non-disclosure. There is a clear prima facie case for this investigation.
    Unfortunately for Scottish football, this incident immediately follows a similar call by myself for an independent non-executive director of the SFA to be suspended under similar circumstances. The credibility of Scottish Football in the minds of supporters and sponsors is at stake and urgent action is required. Transparency will be key to recovering the confidence of key stakeholders in Scottish football and this cannot be achieved if the SFA and/or the SPFL conduct internal investigations.
    The SPFL and SFA must now appoint independent investigators. Scottish football is an important national asset and must have levels of probity and governance that are beyond reproach and that are transparently so.
    Dave KingChairman29 May 2018

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  35. Well ,what can you say about TGASLs latest diatribe .
    The mere fact that he is demanding an independent investigation takes place is so telling in itself .

    I am beginning to wonder if he knows there’s a problem coming up with the european license  and him and jabba are planting the seed for the goldfish rsc to take their ire out on the peepil running the game rather than the club

    The sheer audacity of anyone at sevco 2012 demanding that anything gets looked into properly by the SFA /SPFL just boggles the mind .

    You can bet there is something going on in our game now that the peepil do not like ,maybe there is moves for a more honest and level set up within the corridors of power and there may be no more back turning for the peepils clubs.

    One thing is for sure King is stirring a pot that could lead to someone getting hurt ,what do you have to do or say in our game to be guilty of bringing it into disrepute . 

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  36. STEVIEBC

    MAY 29, 2018 at 16:23

    King is just taking the p!ss now. 
    It’s a novel, if confrontational, squirrel, IMO. 
    ————————————————

    He is, once again, acting as a shadow director of TRFC. That’s something he agreed he wouldn’t do during his SFA F&P brouhaha. In fact, he’s ignored it since the day he agreed to it.

    I suspect that he’s entirely ignorant of how small the UK & Irish media community is at the executive (and above) level. It’s outwith his limited UK networking experience. You would have expected that his media consultant (with 37 years in newspapers) would have known this & advised him to keep schtum.

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  37. This might be a good place to start for Mr Kings putative enquiry. Tweeted by RTC in 2017. People should be careful what they wish for.

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  38. Perhaps it is not a squirrel. His latest stuff – appointing Gerrard unilaterally, non-signing of Skrtel, reducing Celtic ticket allocation, orange strips, demanding investigations, basically picking fights everywhere.
    Looks to me like he is planning an exit.

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  39. AULDHEIDMAY 29, 2018 at 14:31
    Thanks for your response Auldheid having looked at this unfold from the outside my personal feeling is worst case scenario for the SFA was 45k fans simply walk away from the Scottish game and go do something else with their cash.
    The Armageddon Scenario they pushed in order to facilitate the concept of Continuity and Newco parachuting into the top end of the League as “The same Club/New Company (pash)was based purely on this initial fear I think.
    The 5 Way Agreement would not stand up in a Legal Court for the simple fact is Rangers Fc that is the Oldco died in Liquidation.
    The Assets were just that.
    Assets.
    Whilst UEFA and the The SFA conform to their own rules,regulations and standards the fact of the matter is they don’t superceed the Laws and Regulations of the land that the Legal Entity unfortunately had to.
    Hence why it went tits up.
    This is why the Agreement has remained a closely guarded secret because they new (The Administrators certainly did) Legally as a document it falls flat on it’s erchie from the getgo.
    The real issue here however I feel is this…
    Charles Green sold the Rangers Supporters a pup that pup was apparently fully chipped and registered by the SFA as “Kennel Club Registered”.
    It is an absolute disgrace that no one has ever challenged the validity of this document.
    I mean to say are Companies House comfortable with the concept that there is a Club out there masquerading as an Entity they themselves hold a death Certificate for?
    as Johnny Nash would say…
    There are more questions than answers.

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  40. Personally I dont have an ounce of sympathy for RFC players who are possibly gonna have to pay the tax that they avoided ( or indeed anyone who tries a scam like that to avoid what they should be paying to the tax man). A couple of years ago I was fined £1100 by the tax man because I never filled in a tax return . I had been self employed for about 12 years and filled my tax return in every year and paid what was due. I then got a “real” job and I started paying my tax PAYE like most people . I had been PAYE for about 3 years then out of the blue I got a letter saying I was to fill in a self assesment form . I stupidly ignored it for about a year then when they would nt let up I phoned the tax office and explained I was no longer Self employed and had nt been for past 3 years , I was sure in my mind that all was well after the phone call but the letters kept coming and the amount kept going up. To cut a long story short I had to fill in a self assesment which was basically  writing N/A in every box and signing it . They agreed I didnt owe tax …….but I still had to pay the fine which by this time was about £1100 …I paid it in instalments over the course of a year and by time interest had been added it was about £1300 I had to pay HMRC for basically not filling in a form as I kept stressing to them I was paying my tax and NI through PAYE….. My salary at the time was just under £20k , helluva lot of money for me . The tax man does nt mess around nowadays so hell mend the players who thought they were above the law……..”Sir ” David Murray should be facing jail time for his part in it all but hey we all know hes untouchable … Crooked B****RD

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  41. You would have thought by now someone would have removed Pedro and the rest. Who is in control of this shambles, how can you believe someone has put a statement on their site but does not have the experience to modify the team photo.

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