We are fortunate at The Sitonfence Speakeasy to have some excellent contributors. The Mensch does more than most to elevate the debate, and quietly contributes to the upkeep of our site. I have no hesitation in recommending TM’s posts. The evolution of this site has led others to suggest that this site is the preserve of Celtic supporters. Those who follow the East End club are well-represented, but those who follow other clubs also have a voice. I have a soft spot for so-called ‘diddy’ clubs as I played for one of these clubs in my callow youth.
By adding ‘bhoy’ to your moniker it leaves little doubt as to your club allegiances. The following comment is from Elbhoy:
” There’s a suspicion that for Findlay, some of this cross-examination has personal resonance.
Regan is a plausible nonentity who showed some scrivening skills as a lad, but, as the public face of the SFA, he is rolled out to mouth blandishments to the breathless Scottish media. (The SFA themselves are merely a clique elected by & from within clubs to present the illusion of accountability to the gullible. They write their own rules to suit themselves & ignore these same rules when they are inconvenient.)
Thus the SFA have repeatedly soiled themselves with this whole Rangers/Sevco saga:
from zero diligence when considering Rangers submission for a Uefa Licence in 2011 to issuing a temporary SFA licence to Sevco while Oldco Rangers’ one was still live & valid; to adjusting the terms of reference for the LNS enquiry to circumvent the inconvenient truth about the “wee tax case” and to cap it all permit Sandy Bryson to invent justification for the “improper yet valid” registration status of EBT players at Rangers.
The UEFA application in 2011 required the applicant (Rangers) to satisfy the SFA that there were no outstanding social taxes, which they obviously did. Their presentation had the seal of the accountants (Grant Thornton) which helped make it persuasive for the SFA. We don’t know the nature of that accountancy endorsement, but we can be fairly confident that it was heavily qualified. Bottom line, Rangers told the SFA that there were no unpaid social taxes and the SFA believed them.
The evidence being presented at the Whyte trial will be considered on it’s merits, but it has, as many others have said, placed on record a version of SFA/Rangers related events from 2011/2012 that are at odds with the version to which the SFA have so doggedly clung for 5 years.
It is NOW a matter of public record that the DOS-scheme-HMRC invoice was accepted, unchalllenged & unpaid at the time of & even after Rangers application to the SFA at the Uefa Licence hearing. The club had known of the unpaid invoice for many months. As they couldn’t afford to pay it, it appears from the evidence, that there was an intention for a new owner to settle that bill. For the purposes of the Uefa licence aplication, this rationale should have been an irrelevance. However, Uefa delegates to member associations the authority to rule appropriately in such matters. If this scenario was open & above board then it should have been disclosed by the applicant at the hearing. We can only speculate if it was.
Further, the same DOS scheme, when operated by Rangers, was NEVER legal, and so could NEVER have legitimately been available to other Scottish clubs (copyright Nimmo Smith). The DOS scheme was originally due for inclusion in the LNS Enquiry, but the scope of that was quietly changed by the SFA to exclude the period during which the illegal DOS scheme was used by Rangers.
Thus, the SFA chose to belatedly restrict the scope of LNS, such that it could NOT consider evidence that would have had to find Rangers guilty of illegally gaining a sporting advantage (With all the implications that carried for loss of trophies). They then knowingly allowed their employee/agent Bryson to present his ridiculous evidence of “imperfectly registered players” thereby ensuring that Rangers could not be held liable for fielding unregistered players. Both these actions mean that the SFA are circumstantially but comfortably tainted by the convenient justification of Nimmo Smith’s ruling. He found that since the Appeals process for Tax Tribunal findings was still in progress, the scheme “at that time” had to be considered as legal, and thus, no unfair sporting advantage was gained by Rangers. The LNS enquiry was very quickly regarded as a coordinated & contrived event to present the impression of a searching and thorough legal hearing. Now? Less of a genuine enquiry, more of a self -serving & circular exercise worthy of Sir Humphrey Appleby at his devious & suave best.
It might have been dodgy but it wasn’t illegal (YET) so if the other clubs were as streetwise as Rangers they too could have taken that business risk. Ergo the opportunity to operate an EBT scheme was open to all & no sporting advantage was accrued by Rangers.
A bit like being told that the man who stole your car should be applauded for his enterprise & opportunism, and that you too could have stolen someone’s car if you’d had the guts.
Finally, in the often forgotten ‘Five Way Agreement”, (Rangers, Sevco, SFL SPL & SFA) the SFA agreed that Sevco Scotland (now know as TRFC) would not suffer the loss of any trophies won by the previous but now liquidated entity known as Rangers.
LNS was simply designed to secure the result that the SFA had already signed up to. These matters were part of an earlier article by JJ.
I commend Elbhoy for his excellent contribution to a debate that has raged since 2011. Six years later we are beginning to put the pieces together much to the chagrin of those in authority. One should note that Neil Doncaster’s SPL commissioned the LNS Inquiry. Stewart Regan, quite incredibly, imposed himself on a 3 man supervisory panel. Regan was exposed. The decision to grant Rangers a UEFA licence in 2011 was at worst corrupt, at best ill-advised. The scope of the LNS inquiry was altered to exclude the illegal DOS/VSS tax evasion. The entire exercise was a sham with the predetermined result that Rangers Lite would receive a slap on the wrist.
It’s important to emphasise that the LNS inquiry has no legal status. Petitioning for a judicial review of the LNS inquiry would be akin to taking your local golf club to court for not applying its own rules.
As Elbhoy points out these rules are a moveable feast. The concept of an undue payable not ‘crystallising’ was introduced to the lexicon of Scottish football. An elegant, some might contend sophisticated, expression does not give truth to a lie. Each and every game that Rangers participated in with inappropriately registered players should be recorded as a 0-3 reverse. There was nothing ‘imperfect’ about the systemic cheating. Rangers got away with subverting the rules of Scottish football for a minimum of a decade. Twenty trophies are tainted. They should be excised from the records.
The myth of continuation must also be put to bed. Neil Doncaster is the leading light of this barefaced lie. Liquidation is a black and white issue. Charles Green bought a basket of assets and formed a new club. It’s not difficult to comprehend when one engages brain.
The trial of Craig Whyte will be instructive. Those deemed paranoid and obsessed will be proven to have been right all along.
“Nothing to see here Timmy, move along” no longer has any resonance. Regan will cling to the fig leaf that he was lied to by Rangers, but if truth be told Ali Russell and Andrew Dickson were pushing against a door that had been opened by Campbell Ogilvie. Regan and his team accepted fanciful interim accounts in 2011. Six years later they are pulling the same stroke to shoehorn Rangers Lite into a UEFA berth, despite everyone knowing that the current interim accounts mask a £3m loss. Even if one discounts the clear transgression of FFP regulations apropos £13m in loans, how can Rangers Lite satisfy the ruling that a club cannot use UEFA income to break even? Regan has learnt nothing from 2011. He is up to his old interim accounts artifice again.
To err once is human. To repeatedly err to favour one club is corrupt!
We now know who the intended audience was when Lite published their interim tissue of lies. Regan needed another fig leaf. Rangers Lite were quick to oblige.
However this time we can see him coming. Should your club not act to haul Regan over the coals then impose a moratorium on your season ticket purchase. Withdraw their lifeblood. It’s the only collective means of stating:
Enough is enough.
If we don’t act now, our children will be next to endure the travails of Helicopter Sunday. It’s high time Scottish Football governance changed direction.