A New Season of Lies, Treachery & Deceit

When I started this blog I had an affection for the club that formerly played at Ibrox. I no longer have any affection whatsoever for the former club. When David Somers chaired what I refer to as Rangers Lite there was a glimmer of hope that the new club would live within its means and find its natural level in Scottish football. There was a somewhat naive hope that Scottish football governance would uphold the integrity of the game north of the border.

As we fast approach the start of a new season the pariah club led by a career criminal is still with us. This abomination is aided and abetted by individuals in Scottish football governance whom fervently believe that a strong Rangers, in any guise, is good for Scottish football. What about a strong Aberdeen? Or a strong Hearts or Hibs for that matter? Perhaps the most significant question is how far will they go to assist the club in Govan. The following list is from Veritas:

1. Rangers will always have home ties in Scottish cup matches.
2. Rangers will always have home ties in League Cup ties.
3. Rangers will always be granted a UEFA License.
4. All Rangers directors will be approved F&P no matter what, including allowing an unapproved director being allowed to act as shadow chairman.
5. From now on no Rangers player will ever be sent off.
6. No matter what position Rangers end up in the Scottish Premiership they will be deemed to have qualified for Europe.  

                                                                                                                                                         7. In the event Rangers are not winning at the conclusion of play in any particular match at least 10mins will be added to play.
8. Rangers will not require to comply with normal player registration processed required for the other clubs.
9. In the event the operators of Rangers are liquidated the Club will remain in the Scottish Premiership.                                                                                                                  10. Rangers fans will sing and chant anything they like with impunity and let off flares etc and there will be no punishment.

Facetious? Far-fetched? On 7th April 2005, a matter of weeks prior to Rangers winning the title by a point at Easter road with every player and the manager in receipt of an unlawful EBT,  Ian McMillan, The Group Tax Manager of  MIH Ltd, lied to HMRC. Flo had a side contract.

Campbell Ogilvie, Andrew Dickson and Douglas Odam of Rangers lied to the SFA about the true level of remuneration at Ibrox. These individuals were engaged in tax fraud. Let’s add number 11 to our list:

11. Any directors of a club that plays out of Ibrox can abnegate on their legal fiduciary duty to collect PAYE tax and National Insurance contributions from its employees. They can also avoid Employer NI tax.

Why not? Even when an overdue payable has crystallised, Stewart Regan will step up to lie that this is not the case and that negotiations are ongoing. Stewart Regan, in his desire to have a strong Rangers, is prepared to lie.

Then there’s Neil Doncaster. At a meeting between Mr. Doncaster and a deputation from Celtic Quick News, the former was challenged on the Continuation Myth. Mr. Doncaster was well prepared. He opened a flip chart and presented his case. However CQN were even better prepared. They presented the curious case of the Stefan Winiarski testimonial that was scheduled to take place on Wednesday 25th July 2012.

 

 

The Fife Juniors side were scheduled to play The Rangers. This would have been a historic moment as it would represent the first match played by Charles Green’s confection of assets. The following is from CQN:

The old Rangers Football Club had been placed into liquidation and a basket of assets was sold to Green’s off the shelf limited company, which was called Sevco Scotland. The problem for Kelty Hearts was that their opponents for the testimonial match were just that, an off the shelf limited company that had no status to play football whatsoever. Also at this time a friendly in Normandy against Le Harve was cancelled. Whatever Charles Green had bought from Duff and Phelps, the controversial Administrators of Rangers FC, did not include any right to play football. This was simply not a football club but a new start business hoping to become one. There was no continuity from the club placed into liquidation and the start up business trying to use every influential channel open to it to become a football club registered to play teams like French side Le Harve, the Fife juniors Kelty Hearts and Brechin City in the Ramsdens Cup the next weekend. The latter fixture would represent the start of a new season and time was running out for Green. He had a matter of days to reach an agreement with the Scottish FA to allow Sevco Scotland to become a new football club and to compete in the professional game in Scotland in season 2012/13.

But for the Fifers, their game was off, they simply couldn’t play a club that didn’t exist.”

A senior Police Officer in Fife, who had active responsibility for policing the Winiarski testimonial match spoke to CQN about what had  happened and why the game was eventually cancelled, despite being a complete sell-out.

We ask him some questions relating to this cancelled testimonial.

What was your involvement in this match?

“I was handling this proposed testimonial match for Fife Police from a football intelligence point of view. Charles Green had a Testimonial fixture lined up against Kelty Hearts, but this had to be cancelled due to there being no membership attached to any club playing out of Ibrox.

Did you speak to their officials?

“I spoke to Head of Security, David Martin who confirmed there was “no club” and that is why the fixture was cancelled.”

Why did they agree to play Kelly Hearts if they weren’t yet a new football club?

“They hoped that a new club would emerge through agreement with the football authorities in Scotland but for Kelty Hearts, frustratingly, their game had to be cancelled as at the time there was no such thing as a Rangers football club, able to fulfil the fixture.”

Do you think that the facts have been distorted after the event?

“Yes, I do. This never seems to get mentioned now, but the facts are out there and the journalists seem content on reporting otherwise.

“The facts are that the new Rangers were unlicensed to play Kelty Hearts. Stefan Winiarski’s Testimonial was therefore cancelled.

“The new Rangers, as even the BBC called them, were unable to fulfill the fixture as the SFA had not approved their membership.”

But the people running Ibrox were preparing to become a club?

“Ally McCoist’s side have only played games behind closed doors at their Murray Park training ground as they are not licensed to play official fixtures.

“They were due to play their first game of the season, against Brechin City in the Ramsdens Cup, the following Saturday.

“But they were still in negotiations with the SFA, Scottish Premier League and Scottish Football League about the conditions for membership after they were denied a place in the top flight and placed in Division Three.”

So can you summarise the situation you faced in July 2012 while handling this subsequently cancelled match?

“The Stefan Winiarski testimonial match between Kelty Hearts and the New Rangers was cancelled due to the SFA not granting the new Rangers a licence to play any matches, friendlies or competitive.”

CQN had Doncaster’s lie bang to rights. Did this lead to a Damascene volte face by the SPFL Chief Executive? Did he call his IT guru and ask him to take down the lies of the titles won by Rangers Lite? Of course not. Doncaster knew he was lying all along. Which leads to number 12 on our list:

12. When caught out in a blatant lie by social media, keep repeating the lie as the social media demographic is largely irrelevant. If tipped off that the narrative is about to break in the SMSM, call round the editors and have it spiked.

Should one stop at 12? No let’s go for a baker’s dozen by reverting to the discredited LNS Commission:

While there is no question of dishonesty, individual or corporate, we nevertheless take the view that the nondisclosure must be regarded as deliberate, in the sense that a decision was taken that the side letters need not be or should not be disclosed.”

13. When Rangers are caught out in an unlawful tax dodge, set up a commission and lead no evidence on the actual offences.

Finally if this fails, I give you 14.

14. If Rangers guilt has been established beyond any reasonable doubt, hire a QC to pretend that one is powerless to act.

One can but hope that Celtic are so far ahead next season that the cheating won’t derail their domestic ambitions. But what about Aberdeen? Stewart ‘Wiggy’ Milne is so desperate to avoid any backlash from prospective buyers of his new build homes  that he is prepared to accommodate the cheating. Should Aberdeen be denied a cup win by a cheating Rangers Lite, will he be the first to congratulate them?

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 Ways to Kill Sporting Integrity

In the past I would just ignore the haters. However should you come on this site to spew vile bile, then you will be outed. Today’s unreconstructed knuckle dragger is Terry Hastie (terryhastie7@gmail.com). Should one be a work colleague, or perish the thought, a friend of Mr. Hastie be on your guard as his mind is so closed to the truth that he has to revert to playing the man. I suggest that readers write to Mr.Hastie offering a RIP to his skewed revisionism. Or is RIP now banned in his local lodge of The Orange Ordure? Or maybe we might send him some white gloves to denote that no blood was spilled in the battle for ‘Protestant supremacy’ in 1690. Of course the fact that the Pope backed the obese homosexual William of Orange has been airbrushed from their history.

There has been no end of discussion in the past five years of the six drafts of the five way agreement. One clause that survived 5 iterations of drafting was that Charles Green’s Sevco Scotland would have to honour the football debts incurred by Rangers FC plc should his basket of assets wish to participate in Scottish professional football. These were itemised thus:

1. RFC European Football Creditors:  Chelsea FC, Arsenal Football Club, AS St Etienne, FK Senica, Manchester City Football Club, SK Rapid, US Citta di Palermo SPA and any other football club in membership of a national association other than the SFA, which are owed or which may become owed any sum or sums by RFC.

2. RFC Scottish Football Creditors: the SFA, the SPL, the SFL, Dundee United Football Company Limited, Heart of Midlothian FC PLC, Aberdeen Football Club PLC and any other football club in membership of the SFA, which are owed or which may become owed any sum or sums by RFC.

What seems to have been conveniently obscured from view in the ensuing five years is the following clauses from Draft Two:

(G) Sevco will apply for and be admitted into membership of the SFL and during season 2012/2013 shall play in the first division of the Scottish Football League.

(H) Dundee FC will resign from membership of the SFL, will have transferred to it by RFC the one share in the SPL held by RFC and during season 2012/2013 shall play in the Scottish Premier League.

(I) Rangers FC is to be the subject of the SFA EBT Sanctions, the SPL EBT Sanctions and the SFL EBT Sanctions arising out of EBT Payments and Arrangements.

EBT Payments and Arrangements means payments made by RFC into an Employment Benefit Trust for the benefit of players employed by RFC and playing for Rangers in the Scottish Premier League, the Scottish Cup and the League Cup during the period from 2000-2011 inclusive and the arrangements relating to such payments between RFC and those players which were not included in the written contracts of employment of those players and which were not notified prior to such payments being made and at the time when such arrangements were entered into either the SFA or to the SPL.

SPL EBT Sanctions means the withdrawal from Rangers FC, RFC and Sevco of the award and status of winner of The Scottish Premier League for each and all of seasons 2002/2003, 2004/2005, 2008/2009, 2009/2010 and 2010/2011.

SFL EBT Sanctions means the withdrawal from Rangers FC, RFC and Sevco the award and status of winner of the League Cup for each and all of the seasons 2001/2002, 2002/2003, 2004/2005, 2007/2008,  2009/2010 and 2010/2011.

SFA EBT Sanctions means the withdrawal from Rangers FC, RFC and Sevco the award and status of winner of the Scottish Cup for each and all of seasons 2001/2002, 2002/2003, 2007/2008 and 2008/2009.

 

 

 

As readers of this site are aware there was an antecedent to the unlawful EBT’s, the DOS/VSS, which subverted the 1998/1999 and 1999/2000 title wins by Rangers, two Scottish Cup wins in these seasons and a League Cup win in 1998/1999.

Rangers should be stripped of 20 titles. Fifteen of these were the subject of written sanctions by the SFA, then SFL and SPL. These facts are incontrovertible.

As to the rationale behind the decision behind not stripping the equally unlawfully gained titles in 1998/1999 and 1999/2000, the Incorrigible Campbell Ogilvie is the smoking gun.

Mr. Ogilvie introduced the DOS/VSS for De Boer, Flo and Moore. When the 5 Way Agreement drafts were created Ogilvie was the President of the SFA. The poacher had turned gamekeeper.

When the LNS Commission was set up, Mr. Ogilvie was the only individual to give evidence in person. He led no evidence in regard to his involvement in the unlawful DOS/VSS artifice. Harper Macleod also conveniently went along with this fix. Had the latter led evidence would Stewart Regan, from the appellate authority of the SFA, have swept his President’s complicity under Bill Nimmo Smith’s shag pile? You could bet your mortgage on it.

What is also instructive is that Sevco Scotland Ltd was the club that was  eventually authorised to participate in the third tier of the SFL. Doncaster who later lied that Sevco are Rangers Continued signed all drafts. He knows that he’s lying.

Regan and Doncaster should both be summarily removed from Scottish professional football.

The last word in this article goes to Gerry Money-in-hand, the conveyancing consigliere of the SPFL. If one wanted to build an extension to one’s public house, Money-in-hand would be a good if expensive first port of call. However he is clearly out of his depth in the grubby corrupt world of Scottish football governance. Did Charles Green buy the titles/history less 15, or less 20, or as we all know he was not entitled to buy any of the former club’s history.

However the SFA/SFL/SPL were all willing to confer all the titles, minus 15, to Green had they managed to shoehorn Sevco into the SPL or SFL first tier.

Turnbull Hutton railed against this and stated unequivocally that the SFA/SFL/SPL were corrupt. Ogilvie and Longmuir may have left Scottish football but their legacy is compromised and just as corrupt.

 

Subjugating The Indians

We have come a long way since the ‘West was won.’ As the pioneers pushed west to the Pacific in their wagon trains, they encountered fierce opposition from Native Americans who considered themselves the rightful heirs to the land that the pioneers were prepared to take by force, or by subterfuge. The latter included trading disease-ridden blankets. I chose two wagons to represent the SFA and the SPFL. They have fired the first shots in this conflict. They both hired a gunslinger, Gerry Money-in-hand, to strike fear in our ranks. They are hoping for division and internecine conflicts between factions.

They have underestimated us. We are organised and we are intelligent. This site recently breached yet another million hit milestone. With more than 14m visits, with readers from The Vatican to Bhutan, in every corner of the globe where there is internet access, our site goes from strength to strength. Ken McDonald came onto our site to tell us that what we do here is insignificant. His words will resonate across oceans and mountain ranges. He had a voice, yet chose to waste it to denigrate this site and denigrate your humble author. His ego is his downfall. I won’t be inviting Ken to make any more comments. He’ll find a home in Follow Follow or The Bears Den.

The anonymous individual behind the Rangers Tax Case is also not a fan of our site. He has been quick to take issue with everything I write. He is another man with an ego who thinks he is the font of all knowledge. His disciples at The Scottish Football monitor are his attack dogs. At the drop of a diphthong they are all over this site like the mindless thugs in A Clockwork Orange. There is no love lost between the former blogger and the creator of this site.

However if he wishes to be the figurehead and fundraiser for a Judicial review of the corruption at the heart of Scottish football governance, then so be it. I personally would prefer Paul or David at CQN, or James Forrest at The Celtic Blog/On Fields of Green. Auldheid, who contributes comments to this site, would also be on my short list.

I will not be invited by my peers to take this battle to Hampden. If I were I would have to put my name to the Court of Session petition. The blogger behind WTC will have to reveal his identity. The SMSM will play the man but with their sales in the toilet they are easily ignored and largely irrelevant. There has been a blanket ban by editors on The Supreme Court decision. The biggest scandal in British Team Sport history is being suppressed. It’s almost as if Sir Bribe & Lie has contacted some fellow peers to arrange a D-Notice (now formally known as DSMA).

The choice of instructing solicitors is not of paramount importance. However hiring a real legal heavyweight like Donald Findlay, who like all sentient individuals is aware that The Rangers are a new club, would give this petition legs. Findlay does not suffer fools easily. He would wipe the floor with Money-in-hand’s specious contentions.

For those not willing to wade through the nonentity of a QC’s flawed contentions, where he alleges that Charles Green was ‘purported’ as buying the history of Rangers – a blatant lie – and for an encore that LNS could not be revisited due to the tenets of double jeopardy, this article will serve as a summary of my rebuttal.

Money-in-hand is an imbecile. He expounds on the Old Co/ New Co fallacy, completely ignoring Charles Green’s sworn testimony that Rangers no longer exist. There was no change of ownership. There was a change of club. To cap it all he omitted the fact that those in receipt of EBT’s, and its antecedent DOS/VSS, did not pay any National Insurance Contributions. How remiss of him.

I would back a junior advocate against this compromised conveyancing QC on any day of the week.

Money-in-hand is a straw man defending a house of cards.

Let me state this unequivocally in language that even the compromised conveyancing QC can understand. The SFA and SPFL have the legal standing of one’s local golf club. If you don’t rake the sand or replace divots, there are regulations and penalties. If on the other hand should you hire a professional golfer to win an amateur medal and a cash prize, and pay the pro cash in hand to do so, you will have your membership revoked. The medal would be allocated to the leading amateur

This is precisely what should now happen to Rangers. They cheated to win medals, trophies, cash prizes, enhanced broadcasting pay-outs and to participate in the lucrative Champions League. They should and must be stripped of their titles. It should be a gimme. But this is evidently not the case in the compromised parallel universe of Scottish Football  governance.

The SPFL which represents 42 member clubs has gone to great lengths to defend a lie. The lie of continuation. It has gone to great lengths not to punish Rangers for their transgressions as the new club would ridicule their continuation theory.  The SFA will not act as Stewart Regan is terrified of reprisals by The Klan, and being exposed as the liar and cheat who ignored a crystallised overdue payable to allow Rangers to participate in UEFA tournaments.

Rangers cheated and should be taken to task. If the SFA & SPFL are not prepared to do so, they too should be taken to task.

 

 

Defending The Indefensible

Prior to a more measured and dispassionate look at the SPFL farrago of half-truths and blatant lies, I pause to reflect on an inordinately poor performance by Celtic. It was not so much the result that should trouble Celtic supporters than the shape of the team and the fact that Sinclair might have well have had sat on the bench as he was absent all night. I revealed exclusively on Twitter that Dembele would be out of both ties and that Celtic would go into this game without an established centre forward. What’s worse is the sinking feeling that if Griffiths had been available it would have made no difference. Forrest, the poor man’s Patrick Roberts, continues to frustrate and Rogic as de facto centre forward in a 4-3-3 was a gamble that clearly did not pay off. If in six days this is the best they can muster they will exit the CL. There was nothing invincible about this Celtic team. Ntcham, Hayes and Benyu, on this showing, were exposed at this level. To be fair the latter only had nine minutes and stoppage time in which to shine. Ajer, in for Sviatchenko, will have a Torrid Time in Trondheim (will this be the headline) if his positioning continues to disappoint. McGregor should have come off the bench as the Celtic forward line were as convincing as the SPFL.

Celtic were a poor facsimile of last season’s team. ‘Banger’ Caixinha would have slept soundly in his bed last night. There was a lack of the passion one associates with a European night at Celtic Park. It was almost as if Bendtner, who was a handful all night and will be a potent threat in the second leg, turned up with a mute button. Would the Green Brigade have galvanised the players who were comfortably contained by Rosemborg or is this squad a lost cause?  Ajer, Hayes, Ntcham, Benyu, Forrest, Sinclair and Rogic were abject. Armstrong, one of Celtic’s best performers last season, had a stinker. Why did Lawwell not move heaven and earth to sign Roberts?  He was sorely missed last night and might well be sorely missed all season.

However when it comes to mediocrity no-one does it better than the SFA and SPFL. Regan and Doncaster have been so seduced by the blue pound and the bookmakers that they are double-dating them. Their pillow talk would be revealing. There was talk when both were hired that, as Englismen, they would not arrive with the Masonic Orange Ordure baggage of old, as typified by Jim Farry. Sacking rampant bigot Hugh Dallas was a good start for Regan, but as soon as he poked his nose into the Ibrox Imbroglio his tenure was increasingly compromised. The blatant cheating of Rangers under the stewardship of David Murray, Dave King, Paul Murray and Alastair Johnston should have resulted in their licence to play professional football being revoked, with all titles won during Murray’s tenure being declared null and void. Murray, who had acquired a controlling interest in Rangers with a $1m bribe and £6m of on the books funding, both loaned by The Bank of Rangers, continued in his corrupt ways for 23 years. There are those who swear he was paying what became the nine in a row heroes cash bungs from the very beginning. He later made cheating a policy. Gordon Brown, the worst Prime Minister in living memory, who championed the odious McCanns and awarded Sir Bribe & Lie a knighthood, has a lot to answer for. Brown’s rictus grin is the stuff of nightmares. Brown backed war criminal Tony ‘Crazed Hyena’ Blair in perpetrating a genocide in Iraq. Just like Regan and Doncaster they have never been taken to task for their crimes.

The anti-Irish/Catholic ‘ethnic cleansing’ of Scottish football by Regan and Doncaster, on behalf of Rangers and Rangers Lite, continues to this day. The proscribed songs of hatred still ring out at The Sectarian Speakeasy with not so much as a raised eyebrow from those who purport to govern the Scottish game.

Given that the SFA and the SPFL are clearly working in concert, did Gerry Moynihan brief both? What does it say about these organisations when they chose to hire a QC prior to the Supreme Court decision?  Were they planning to Defend The Indefensible?

I take extreme issue with Stewart Regan using funds that should be earmarked for Scottish football to cover his complicity in granting Rangers a UEFA licence in 2011, despite an overdue payable quantum of £2.8m having crystallised two weeks prior to the March cut-off. A vote of no confidence should be tabled against Regan. This individual, corrupted by osmosis to Campbell Ogilvie, must be summarily removed from the Scottish game. He is unequivocally and incontrovertibly corrupt

I dealt with Doncaster’s Sophistry (jj passim) in a previous post. One can find it in my archive. I have not yet restored my entire archive of more than 800 articles. When I find the time I will do so. I hope to complete this task prior to being assassinated. It will be my legacy. Should readers turn up to find  that John James is conspicuous by his absence they will know those from the UDA/UVF who have been trained to kill and now hold leading position in The Orange Ordure, have tracked me down. One group plan to burn me alive using a tyre as favoured by the Mexican drug cartels. Their apologists will come on this site and cry foul. But make no mistake these individuals are obsessed with thoughts of my demise. Sooner or later they will get to me. Prior to this eventuality I will shine as brightly as possible.

I digress. I will reproduce the statement from the SPFL website verbatim in bold blue italic typeface. I will use  JJ as a prefix to my running commentary and summary.

The SPFL Board today announced, following legal advice from eminent Senior Counsel, Gerry Moynihan Q.C., that there will be no further disciplinary proceedings taken by the SPFL connected with the use by Rangers of EBTs and other tax schemes.

The SPFL Board further announced that it supports the calls that have been made for an independent review concerning the way in which Scottish football’s authorities have dealt with non-payment of tax by clubs, have applied their rules and regulations, and the sufficiency of changes made to their rules and regulations in this area over the last few years. The Board of the SPFL will seek to facilitate such  a review and the publication of its report with and to the Scottish FA. The SPFL will seek to agree terms of reference with the Scottish FA and the identification of appropriate independent reviewers.

The SPFL Board of directors has considered carefully the judgement of the Supreme Court in the unsuccessful appeal by the former Rangers Football Club PLC (in liquidation) (“Rangers OldCo”) against the decision of the Inner House of the Court of Session finding that OldCo acted unlawfully in failing to deduct and pay over to HMRC, PAYE income tax, from payments made by it to EBTs for many of its registered players.

JJ: It beggars belief that the SPFL will liaise with the SFA in compiling this review and also report to the SFA. Do they honestly believe that we came down in the last shower? Former and current executives of the SFA, notably Campbell Ogilvie, Stewart Regan and Sandy Bryson, led mendacious evidence to the LNS commission. They also reduced the scope and encouraged half-baked conclusions prior to the unlawful use of tax instruments being tested in The Court of Session and The Supreme Court. The LNS Commission, which declared that there was no suggestion of dishonestly in the implausibly ‘imperfect’ registration of 55 players, is unequivocally unsound. As is the commission’s central premise that Rangers’ use of EBT’s was lawful and that up to £48m in evaded taxes did not confer a competitive advantage. Stewart Regan is so compromised by his involvement in the LNS commission that he cannot possibly be considered as impartial. He has skin in this blatant whitewash of the facts. The crowdfunded counsel that will petition The Court of Session for a Judicial Review will wipe the floor with the predetermined outcome of this sham commission. What a shoddy attempt to keep the matter in house as they circle the wagons to protect their compromised careers.

Gerry Moynihan Q.C. has confirmed that:-

(i) the breaches of Scottish FA and SPL Rules and Regulations arising from the failure of Rangers OldCo to make the required notifications in relation to registrations and contract disclosure requirements are now closed and cannot be re-opened by the SPFL nor can the Commission or a new Commission now impose further or different sanctions. The SPFL has no power in law to re-open these issues and the Commission has no power in law, assuming it wished to do so, to modify or supplement the sanction previously imposed;

(ii) there were not and are not in the SPL/SPFL Rules and Regulations any other provisions which can be or could have been pursued in relation to the failures of Rangers Oldco to make payments of PAYE tax to HMRC in relation to its employees who benefited from EBTs;  The SPFL has no power in law to re-open these issues and the Commission has no power in law, assuming it wished to do so, to modify or supplement the sanction previously imposed; 

(iii) there were not and are not in the SPL/SPFL Rules and Regulations any other provisions which can be or could have been pursued in relation to any alleged damaging effects on the reputation of the game resulting from any acts and/or omissions of Rangers OldCo in relation to the failure to deduct and pay over PAYE tax.

In short, Senior Counsel has advised that there are no disciplinary proceedings, beyond those already taken and concluded before the Lord Nimmo Smith Commission, which were at any time or are now open to the SPL and/or SPFL in relation to the failure of Rangers OldCo and/or its officers to deduct and pay over PAYE which Rangers OldCo was obligated to deduct and pay over but which it failed so to do.

JJ: There is one major and fundamental omission in Senior Counsel’s analysis which I personally find astounding. Rangers did not deduct National Insurance Contributions on behalf of HMRC at source, in either the unlawful DOS/VSS antecedent to EBT or the unlawful EBTs. How could senior counsel miss this?

The second point is also fundamental. The LNS Commission had no standing in law. It was a whitewash which made a number of recommendations. Having a retired Lord Ordinary as chair did not in an way elevate proceedings. This commission was not in any way legal under the tenets of Company or Scots Law. To suggest otherwise is at best disingenuous, at worse a blatant lie. The LNS Commission recommendations can and will be challenged in The Court of Session. Mr. Moynihan seems to believe that the SFA and SPFL exist in their own parallel universe where the law of the land does not apply. He will soon be disabused of this notion.

As for no provision in their statutes to punish the errant directors of Rangers, could they not have referred the matter to the SFA and petitioned them to suspend or revoke Rangers’ licence? The SPL could have appealed the LNS recommendations but chose not do so. One can but hope that Moynihan is retained by the SPFL and interested party the SFA at the forthcoming Judicial Review. The egg dripping from his face should be garnered to make a consolatory omelette at the SFA’s Chinese Laundry: Hotel Du Vin.

The only factual statement Moynihan makes in (i), (ii) and (iii) is when he asserts that:

‘The SPFL has no standing in law.’ 

Since 2010, the SPFL has brought in a number of rule changes dealing with non-payment of tax. These were further bolstered at Monday’s SPFL Annual General Meeting.

JJ: This is by far the most incredulous part of the SPFL statement. We are being led to believe that the SPL, who sat on their hands while Rangers engaged in systemic tax evasion and financial doping and were rewarded with prize money, enhanced broadcasting revenue and Champions League participation, have now caught up with their transgressions in a one hour meeting of the shiny new SPFL board. They must really think that supporters zip up their backs.

‘The horse may have bolted but we have bolstered the stable doors.’ 

These people are imbeciles. No-one this stupid should be allowed to govern a game of Ludo, never mind Scottish football.

The detailed advice given by Gerry Moynihan Q.C. to the board of directors of the SPFL as regards the options, if any, open to the SPFL in relation to further disciplinary action by the SPL/SPFL, is provided. 

The Advice Of Gerry Moynihan QC (JJ: cue drum roll for the right honourable Gerry Money-in-hand)

Summary

Given the complexity of the questions it may help if I begin with a short summary. My advice is that neither the SPL nor the SPFL can take any further disciplinary action against Oldco, Newco or Rangers (the club) in respect of the events that culminated in the liquidation of Oldco. Several possible complaints have been canvassed and I will address them one by one. The first possible complaint relates to failure to disclose the full range of payments when players were registered. That complaint was ‘prosecuted’ before the LNS Commission. The decision of the Commission was subject to certain limitations. Principally, it proceeded on the assumption that the EBT scheme was lawful. Secondly, there has been some suggestion that the Commission had an incomplete understanding of the full range of undisclosed payments (though this has not been demonstrated). Notwithstanding these limitations, it is now too late to appeal the decision of the LNS Commission; and, applying the general principle of finality in litigation, it is not possible for the SPFL to bring a new or second complaint in respect of essentially the same matter.

 

JJ: Forgive me if I demur on your assertion that this is complex Money-in-hand. It has been clearly demonstrated that the illegal DOS/VSS antecedent to EBT was not considered by the LNS Commission. This is not disingenuous. This is a blatant lie. As for ‘applying the general principle of finality in litigation’  on a non-legal construct, namely the LNS Commissiion, you are seriously out of your depth Money-in-hand. How on earth did you become a senior QC? By keeping your head down and running up time served? I have seen your ilk before being humiliated in court, as you will be in short order.

The second possibility relates to non-payment of tax. The SPFL now has rules requiring tax to be paid when ‘due’. Those rules were first introduced after Oldco ceased to be a member of the SPL. The Rules define the date when a formally contested tax liability is considered to fall ‘due’: it falls due when the tax dispute is resolved. That day will only come when the Supreme Court announces its decision. Assuming that the Supreme Court holds that there is a tax liability in respect of the EBT scheme that will be a liability of Oldco (not the club under the current ownership of Newco). There can be no complaint by the SPFL against Oldco because that company is not a member. I have been asked whether it would be possible to bring a complaint against the club on the basis that the SPFL Rules can be construed as referring to any tax due in respect of the activities of a club, even by a past owner. While the point is not entirely free from doubt it is my opinion that the Rules do not apply to tax due by former owners and, therefore, it would not be possible to bring a complaint against Rangers (and Newco) in respect of any failure by Oldco to pay tax.

Even if the SPFL Rules cover any tax due in respect of a club’s affairs by former owners, I see no reasonable basis for disciplinary action. A breach of the tax rules leads to a specific sanction, a transfer embargo until the tax is paid. This tax will not be paid. An indefinite transfer embargo would be unreasonable and even an embargo for a restricted period cannot to my mind be justified.

The final option would be to consider the whole affair (non-disclosure of the payments and non-payment of any tax due) as conduct that brought the game in to disrepute. That cannot be pursued by the SPL or SPFL. The Rules of the SPL and SPFL do not contain such a disciplinary offence and, therefore, there can be no charge brought by the SPL or SPFL on that basis.

 

JJ: Leaving the Old Co, New Co, Engine Room Subsidiary and lingual gymnastics aside for a moment, does it not behove the SPL/SPFL to report an errant club to the SFA where it can be tried for bringing the game into disrepute?

Question 1

Does Senior Counsel consider that it would be competent for the decisions of the LNS Commission as regards sanction to be reopened/revisited by the LNS Commission on the application of the SPFL Limited in the light of a material subsequent change of circumstances, viz the decision and/or reasoning of the Inner House being upheld by the Supreme Court, or is the LNS Commission functus as regards sanction notwithstanding any such change in circumstances? It is appreciated that such [re-opening] would give rise to complications as regards the £250,000 fine and the Arbitration.

I answer this question in the negative.

The Commission was appointed under the 2012 edition of the SPL Rules G1.1 and G1.2. I assume that the reference in Rule G7.3 to Rule D1.2 is a misprint and that it ought to refer to G1.2. On that assumption the decision of the Commission is “final and binding on the parties”, subject only to any appeal to the Scottish FA. It follows that the Commission is functus and cannot be asked to reopen its proceedings.

JJ: This can and will be challenged in The Court of Session. Money-in-hand seems to think that the SPFL statutes are legally inviolable. He will soon be disabused of this fallacy,
Question 2

Could an appeal against the sanction imposed by the LNS Commission on Oldco now be pursued, based on new material relevant to sanction i.e. the Supreme Court decision, and, if so, on what basis and with what prospects of success, to the Scottish FA Appeals Judicial Panel, the relevant appellate body? The time for appeal is ordinarily 5 Working Days but can be extended by the Appeal Tribunal.

I answer this question in the negative.

The Memorial refers to the time limits for an appeal in the 2015/16 Protocol (Document 2). Strictly speaking, one should consider the time limits in the contemporaneous code (i.e. that applying in 2012/3), but I do not consider that to be necessary here. An appeal against any order may be barred by acquiescence in the order: McCue v Scottish Daily Record & Sunday Mail 1998 SC 811; and AS v Murray (No. 2) 2007 SC 688. The Commission’s decision has been enforced against Newco through retention or set off and that would amount to acquiescence and would now bar any appeal.

JJ: Cutting through the heady bamboo of obfuscation, Money-in-hand is asserting that since the SPL offset the fine and costs of  an appeal against money due to Rangers Lite, they have acquiesced. I disagree. They could argue, in a court of law, that the LNS recommendations were predicated on several false premises.
Question 3.

Does Senior Counsel consider that it would now be competent for the SPFL Limited to initiate wholly new proceedings before a new Commission relying on breach of the same rules and regulations as was held established by the LNS Commission but seeking further sanctions and, if so, with what prospects of success?

I answer this question in the negative.

In Cadder v HMA 2011 SC (UKSC) 13, at §§58-62 and 98-103, Lords Hope and Rodger referred to the principle of legal certainty: final decisions determine the issue between the parties and the same issue cannot be the subject of successive claims between them. In crime that principle is expressed in the concept of double jeopardy and in civil litigation it underpins the plea of res judicata. In England it has been applied to disciplinary proceedings via the concept of ’cause of action estoppel’. I refer to R (on the application of Coke-Wallis) v Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales [2011] 2 AC 146. A complaint against Mr Coke-Wallis was dismissed by a tribunal and the Institute sought to present a reformulated, second complaint in respect of essentially the same matter and was held not to be entitled to do so. There are differences between the Scots Law concept of personal bar and the corresponding English concept of estoppel, and in particular there is no direct Scots Law equivalent of cause of action estoppel. Nonetheless, the rationale for the decision in that case lies in the principle of legal certainty that is recognised in Scots Law and it would bar a second complaint in respect of essentially the same matter.

For the avoidance of doubt, my answer proceeds on the hypothesis expressed in the question: the new proceedings rely on the same rules and regulations. My answer should not be understood to exclude a second disciplinary complaint in all circumstances. To take the examples of double jeopardy and res judicata, the objection is to successive disputes on essentially the same matter. A second case can proceed if there is a sufficient difference between the issues or matters concerned. What amounts to a ‘sufficient’ difference is a fact sensitive question.

JJ: This is where it gets interesting. If the SPFL have bolstered the rules, can they not be applied retrospectively or are they, as I suspect, lying through their back teeth.
Question 4.

There were no specific Rules in existence during the period of operation of the EBTs etc. Schemes by Oldco requiring Clubs or their owners to pay tax liabilities when they fell due; this continued to be the position up to 12 July 2012 when such Rules were adopted. This was shortly before Oldco ceased to be a shareholder in SPL Limited and Rangers FC ceased to be a member Club of the SPL on 3 August 2012. These are now SPFL Rules E20-E29. These SPFL Rules replaced the SPL Rules after Oldco ceased to be a shareholder in SPL Limited. They came into force on 27 June 2013 when Newco became a shareholder in SPFL Limited and Rangers FC a Club in the SPFL.

4.1 Is the reference to Club in SPFL Rules E20 to E29 and to the Tax Liability of such a Club, in context, a reference only to the Tax Liability of the owner and operator of a Club for the time being or does it extend to the Tax Liability of a former owner and operator of the same Club incurred at a time before SPFL Rules E20 to E29 were adopted? Reference is made to the definitions of “Club” and “Tax Liability” in SPFL Rule A4.

4.2 In the case of Rangers FC, it was a member of the SPL and it was owned and operated by Oldco until Rangers FC became owned and operated by Newco. It subsequently played in the SFL in Season 2012/2013. Oldco was a Member (shareholder in) of SPL Limited until 3 August 2012 but Newco was not a Member of SPL Limited (the same company as SPFL Limited) until 27 June 2013 when it became a Member of (shareholder in) SPL Limited (later renamed SPFL Limited) and Rangers FC became a member Club of the SPFL. Is the tax liability of Oldco arising from use by Oldco of EBTs etc. a “Tax Liability” of Rangers FC, as now a member Club of the SPFL, for the purposes of Rules E20 to E29 and if the Supreme Court, as the final appellate body, refused the appeal against the decision of the Inner House will the consequences of Rules E20 to E29 apply to Newco and Rangers FC?

There is scope for argument about question 4.1 but having given the matter considerable thought I prefer the view that SPFL Rules E20-29 apply to the combination of the club and its current owners. The ruling in §46 of the preliminary decision of the LNS Commission (Document 12) supports the proposition that there is a distinction between a ‘club’ and its owners and operators from time to time. That will reflect the fact that fans, and the sports minded general public, identify with the club and not necessarily with the owners. That having been said, the LNS Commission was not considering the proper interpretation of Rules E20-29. A ‘club’ is defined as “a Football club … which is, for the time being, eligible to participate in the League and, except where the context otherwise requires, includes the owner and operator of such club”. The key here is that Rangers FC is not a legal entity. The legal entity liable to tax was Oldco. That being so, the context requires us to read the ‘club’ as including the owner and operators for the time being (i.e. it current owners).

I would answer question 4.2 in the negative. My reasoning proceeds in stages.

Since the liability is that of Oldco, there can be no question of Newco being directly in breach of the rules.

Is it possible to hold Newco indirectly liable by virtue of the 5-Way Agreement? In other words, is it possible to hold Newco liable for a breach of the rules by Oldco? My view is no because that presupposes that Oldco was in breach of some SPL or SPFL rule. As I shall explain in the next paragraph, Oldco was not in breach of the SPL Rules and cannot be in breach of an SPFL rule.

Under Tax Law an assessment may be immediately due and payable notwithstanding that an appeal is pending. As far as HMRC is concerned, Oldco may have been under a liability to pay tax in respect of EBTs as at the date when the SPL first introduced rules on this matter (16 July 2012). However, the SPL Rules do not take such a hard line. Where a tax assessment is being ‘formally contested’ (i.e. appealed) it is not ‘due’ for the purposes of the SPL/SPFL Rules until the date of final determination of the claim (A6.32 in the July 2012 Rules; and E.28 in the current SPFL Rules).
(a) As at the date when Oldco ceased to be a member of the SPL (August 2012) the EBT tax was not ‘due’ for the purposes of the SPL Rules because it was ‘formally contested’. Oldco was not in breach of the SPL Rules at that date.

(b) Assuming that the Supreme Court upholds the assessment the tax will become ‘due’ as at the date of the Court’s decision but Oldco is no longer a member of the SPL/SPFL and therefore it cannot be in breach of the rules in force as at that future date.

JJ: I suggest that readers ignore Money-in-hand’s musings and focus on (b) which clearly proves my contention that senior counsel was engaged prior to the Supreme Court decision. Why were they so keen to be ahead of the narrative? One might think that they had something to hide other than their overwhelming incompetence.

Question 5

There are some SPFL Rules requiring conduct to be generally compliant with certain standards. These are, or at least were also included in the SPL Rules when Oldco was a shareholder in SPL Limited and Rangers FC was a member Club of the SPL (SPL A3.2 is now adjusted to what is now SPFL B2, note the repositioning of words, the following is as the Rules appeared in the SPL Rules when Rangers FC was a member Club of the SPL and Oldco was a Member of SPL Limited:

“A3.1 In all matters and transactions relating to the League and Company each Club shall behave towards each other Club and the Company with the utmost good faith.

A3.2 No Club, either by itself or its Club Officials, shall by any means whatsoever unfairly criticise, disparage, belittle or discredit any other Club, the Company or the League or in either case any such other Cub or the Company’s directors, officers, employees or agents (which shall, for the avoidance of doubt, exclude supporters).”

SPFL rule A3.2 has been construed so that “unfairly” only applies to “criticise” but this has been clarified by the word being repositioned in what is now SPFL Rule B2.

Assuming the Supreme Court affirms the decision of the Inner House, what would be the prospects of success in SPFL Limited pursuing Oldco and/or Newco and/or Rangers FC before a SPFL Commission relying on breach of one or both of Rules A3.1 and/or A3.2? To date A3.2 has been construed as applying to a Club committing an act of belittling etc. e.g. saying something negative about the League etc., as opposed to doing something which, as a consequence, brings discredit on the League, e.g. not discharging its tax liabilities.

I agree that Rule A3.2 is limited to the specified acts and is not to be construed as a more general prohibition against bringing the game in to disrepute. It is, accordingly, not relevant.

I doubt the prospects of a complaint under Rule A3.1 succeeding. Firstly, there can be no complaint against Newco. That company cannot be in breach of Rule A3.1 because this is an SPL Rule and Newco is not subject to those rules. With regard to Oldco and the club, it is open to question whether the implementation of a tax avoidance scheme is inconsistent with the utmost good faith because tax avoidance is lawful. If the Supreme Court upholds the decision of the Court of Session the result will be that the tax avoidance scheme will have failed but I doubt that it is appropriate to reinterpret past events in light of a court ruling that comes at least 4 years later. The mere fact that the scheme is ultimately held to have been ineffective does not mean that when the scheme was being applied the club and Oldco acted with less than the utmost good faith.

For completeness, I should deal with the possibility of a disrepute charge combining SPL Rule A7.1.1(b) (July 2012 edition) and Scottish FA Article 94.1. SPL Rule A7.1.1(b) obliged Oldco to comply with the Scottish FA Articles. Scottish FA Article 94.1 contains a specific provision relating to conduct that brings the game in to disrepute. Non-payment of tax can bring the game in to disrepute and therefore non-payment of tax would be covered by Article 94.1. Could the SPL have brought a charge against Oldco by a combination of these two rules? My answer is in the negative because in 2012 the disrepute provision was of limited scope. At that time (see Document 1) Scottish FA Article 94.1 only conferred jurisdiction on the Judicial Panel and it gave that tribunal discretion to select from a limited range of sanctions. The decision of Lord Glennie in Rangers Football Club PLC Petitioner 2012 SLT 1156 highlights the limitations of that Article. It does not establish a more general disciplinary obligation that can be enforced independently of the machinery specified in Article 94.1 and therefore it could not provide a platform to the SPL/SPFL for separate prosecution by them.

JJ: Think again Money-in-hand. When Rangers lied to HMRC about the existence of side letters/dual contracts no-one could ever accuse them of acting in good faith.

6 If there are reasonable prospects of success having regard to the answer to the question at 4.5, what are the prospects, having regard to the terms of clause 2.1 of the 5-Way Agreement and the SPL Side-Letter, of SPFL Limited recovering from Newco any financial sanction that might be imposed by an SPFL Commission on Oldco and/or Rangers FC for breach of the Rules referred to in question 4.5 in relation to operation of EBT etc. Schemes by Oldco?

8 Assuming an affirmative answer to 4.5, how should any charges/Issues be framed, against which party(ies) should they be brought and what categories of evidence would require to be adduced to establish same?

These do not arise in light of my answer to question 5.
Question 7

SPFL Rules J16.6, J16.7 and J16.13 comprise a variety of ‘sporting sanctions’ which might be imposed by a SPFL Commission for a breach of or failure to comply with SPFL Rules. Equivalent provisions were included in the SPL Rules. If there were a finding of breach of the SPL Rules by Oldco/Rangers FC with respect to the use of EBT etc. Schemes and/or non-payment of tax in connection with EBT etc. Schemes would it be competent for a SPFL Commission to:

(i) now impose sporting sanctions in relation to SPL competitions which took place during the period 1999-2010 e.g. the cancellation of the award of a Championship during that period;

(ii) now impose sporting sanctions on Rangers FC in relation to the League Cup in the period prior to 27 June 2013 in respect that prior to that date the competition was owned and operated by the SFL;

(iii) impose sporting sanctions in relation to SPFL Competitions taking place now and since 27 June 2013; and

(iv) in each of cases (i), (ii) and (iii) would such sporting sanctions be effective as against any one or more of Oldco, Newco and/or Rangers FC?

It is recognised that the effectiveness of a historical sporting sanction is not a straightforward concept. For present purposes, unless counsel advises otherwise, what might be considered effective in the case of a Championship or Cup might be an order that its award is withdrawn ab initio and a direction to Newco and Rangers FC that it does not represent that it was a Championship or Cup won by Rangers FC. It is understood that the historical awards of Championships or Cups are amongst the ‘assets’ of Oldco purportedly ‘sold’ to Newco, through the agency of the administrators by Oldco, in June 2012; so that Newco might now be sanctioned by SPFL if it did not cease to claim that such an award stood in the records of Rangers FC.

This also does not arise given my answers to the preceding questions.

JJ: This is risible nonsense. I have seen the bill of sale to Charles Green. It is itemised. Green’s counsel referred to it in court as a basket of assets. He specified that Rangers no longer exist. He did not buy their history. He could have inherited their history if the CVA had been successful. Perhaps one should take a closer look at your credentials as it’s unworthy of a QC to engage in idle speculation which has no basis in fact. ‘Purported’ by whom Money-in-hand? Neil Doncaster or some other agent lying through their back teeth?

Question 9

Senior Counsel will be aware that partners in BDO are the liquidators of Oldco. Once the Supreme Court has issued its decision in the appeal, it is likely that the liquidators will thereafter take steps to finalise the winding up of Oldco and to secure its dissolution. The latest reports of the Liquidators of Oldco suggest that the liquidation will be ongoing for a considerable period.

Senior Counsel is asked to advise on the legal implications for SPFL Limited and the SPFL of the dissolution of Oldco, particularly if disciplinary proceedings have been initiated against Oldco prior to dissolution but are not completed? Would SPFL Limited be able to prevent (by interdict or otherwise) such dissolution if such process was considered likely to prejudice those disciplinary proceedings?

Would dissolution of Oldco discharge Newco of its obligations to SPFL Limited as regards sanctions imposed on Oldco in terms of Clause 2.1 of the 5-Way Agreement?

25. The Court can, on an application, defer dissolution under section 205(5) of the Insolvency Act 1986.

JJ: I concur. There can be no dissolution until after the forthcoming crowdfunded Judicial Review.

 

JJ’s Summary

The SPFL is essentially a trade association of member clubs. These clubs lack the moral courage and integrity to act. I’m particularly disappointed with Ann Budge. Stewart Milne, who could never be accused of being the sharpest tool in the box, is so compromised by his Masonic leanings that impartial analysis on his part is conspicuous by its absence. A boycott of their respective clubs by the CSA and other supporters’ association, would be effective. If the only language they understand is in terms of filthy lucre, giving then less to play with would be a good first step.

I find it particularly galling that the SPFL hired a QC to forensically examine the minutiae of their regulations to support their desire ‘to move on.’ But why would any right thinking supporter move on when the SPFL’s retained counsel is making ludicrous claims about Charles Green buying Rangers’ history.  Is Money-in-hand oblivious of Charles Green’s counsel statements? Was he attempting to get Continuation Doncaster out of a bind?  There was no transfer of history transcation. Was it purported by anyone other than the 4th Estate? Is Money-in-hand so naive that he believes the tabloid press?

The forthcoming crowdfunded Judicial Review will sweep away Money-in-hand’s sandcastle assertions.

Money-in-hand of Axiom Associates lists the following as his areas of expertise:

Public Law

Judicial Review and Human Rights
Professional Liability
Planning

 

How did Ralph Topping arrive at the conclusion that Moynihan who has a conveyancing bent was the best mind to call on? From what I can gather this is his first rodeo. Was Rod McKenzie unavailable?

I apologise to readers in advance as this piece runs to more than 6,000 words. In my humble opinion it is worthy of your time. It will be available in my archive should one wish to read it more than once.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crime Pays At The SPFL

Gerry Moynihan QC, for the SPFL, has concluded that systemic tax evasion is not within their purview. The SPFL apparently cannot penalise the former club because there was and is nothing in their statute books to address the systemic subversion of Scottish football. So why not just do it again? The SPFL will just look the other way.

How convenient for them. We anticipated that they would be slippery and they did not disappoint us.

Let’s summarise this in industrial language:

We are so fucking incompetent that we cannot punish a crime that occurs right under our  fucking noses.”

This is so shameful it should come wearing a mask.

But here’s the kicker:

Why not knock yourselves out investigating how we do things at Hampden. One should focus one’s energies on this squirrel and let the window for a judicial review elapse.”

As I predicted this legal advice was pre-prepared. There was no need for a 48 hour delay. Was this just a mechanism to allow these worthless jobsworths to slink into their cars without challenge?

At this point I question whether there is any need for a Professional League Oversight Committee that has no teeth. The discredited LNS commission only had the authority to address registration irregularities. Surprisingly they came to the conclusion that the concealment of side contracts, on 55 occasions, were honest mistakes. There was apparently no dishonesty if one ignored the lies told to HMRC? I roll my eyes in despair.

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DFqIaEGVYAEpaS5?format=jpg&name=large

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Prior to a judicial review or an appeal by Celtic to The Court For Arbitration in Sport in Lausanne, the instructions given to Moynihan should be carefully examined.

The title of the document is a misnomer.

Rangers have never been penalised for their intricate take on cash bungs, so how Moynihan can assert that there will be no ‘additional’ punishments leads one to conclude that he has not been briefed properly. Has he been misled by the supercilious Topping? Is this Topping’s Ratner moment?

Moynihan asserts that there were and are no mechanisms within the SPFL statutes to address Rangers’ tax evasion. Rather than discuss competitive advantage Moynihan focuses on reputational damage and concludes that yet again the SPFL cannot act.

Would Ann Budge like to comment on the 48 hour charade that she and others engaged in, given that Moynihan’s position had been pre-prepared and presented to her at Hampden. It smacks of obfuscation. Would she also like to comment as to the Hearts fans who will welcome this whitewash? Her re-election to the SPFL board was a fundamental error. Enduring someone as compromised as Budge for another year is too onerous to bear.

Boycotts of the League Cup, Scottish Cup, Tynecastle and Pittodrie should ensue.

This is just one battle. The civil war that will follow is yet to be fought. Scottish football is not underpinned by the lucrative broadcasting contracts in the English Premiership. It is funded by the fans.

The SPFL have abnegated on their responsibility to govern and to advocate fair play. They cannot be trusted and in time will be irrelevant.

Addendum

A judicial review is imminent.

 

Doncaster’s Sophistry

One would be astonished if the new board of the SPFL after an hour or so of deliberation and a minimum of e-mail correspondence from Rod McKenzie, to inform them as to whether they can get away with it, do little more than to circle the wagons around Neil Doncaster.

Their Chief Executive, more than most, is responsible for the lie that is continuation. He woke up one morning and had a Eureka moment: Let’s ignore the fact that Rangers are being liquidated, and as Charles Green clearly stated in court there is no Rangers, and pretend that Rangers Lite are Rangers continued. To add credibility to his marketing wheeze he chose to confer the new club with the trophies won by the old club. No member club has ever challenged his sophistry. If Rangers Lite can be sold to broadcasters as the most successful club in world domestic football, versus former European Cup winners Celtic, thus squeezing a few more million out of Sky and BT Sport, why would the clubs complain as the crumbs from a rich man’s table fall on their laps?

However when one finds that many of these conferred titles were won by cheating, he was forced to have a rethink: Let’s create a commission. The SFA have a stable of ‘safe’ QCs on the make, and former members of the justiciary, who can be relied on to arrive at any verdict of one’s choosing, particularly if you reduce their scope to that of a pinhead. Then throw in the Chief Executive of the SFA appellate committee, and Billy Bob Smith’s your uncle. Add a few words about no competive advantage to please the Rangers fans and the bookies that want to bleed them dry, then tie it all up in a pretty bow to present to a compliant 4th estate.

Doncaster’s sinecure as Chief Executive gave him enough time to acquire a Masters degree in Business Administration. He had no need to study in the evening as he had time on his hands in his working day. He would naturally put down his books when Stewart Regan wandered along the 6th floor corridor for afternoon tea and mendacity. Allowing Rangers to participate in Europe with a fully crystallised overdue payable quantum of £2.8m was causing poor Stewart some concern. He had had to engage in counter-terrorism training as The Klan were conspiring to murder him, so he subverted the rules to save his scrawny neck. What’s a few rules when compared to spilling his blood on Mrs Regan’s doilies? The Klan don’t do scones and courtship dances. Regan had no intention of taking one for the team.

Doncaster’s bullshit, which clings to his office like an H Block dirty protest, is one of the root causes of the civil war that is going to erupt in Scottish football. The Craig Whyte trial had the takeaway of Sir Bribe & Lie admitting that the modern day equivalent of cash stuffed in envelopes to be handed over at service stations in the dead of night, had given him the latitude to buy players that he could otherwise not have afforded.

Murray’s tax evasion had eighty takers including the incorrigible tax cheat Barry Ferguson who transferred his share in his £1.2m gated mansion to his wife in 2011 as a precaution to the HMRC shit hitting the fan. By the time that it did, he just sidestepped the £1.4m due by declaring himself bankrupt. Did Ferguson send his three children to state schools? Did he and his family avail themselves of the National Health Service? How about The Armed Forces, the bigots in uniform that parade at Ibrox? Nothing Barry? Did you go so far as to buy a poppy or are you as tight as you are corrupt?

Despite this the Daily Record will allow this unconscionable tax cheat to pen a column in their failing rag. What a role model this former captain of Rangers is. I guess it could be worse when one recalls the days of Richard Gough soliciting under age male prostitutes. Is Barry’s tax fiddling better than Richard’s rent boy fiddling?

Is this the heritage that The Klan will kill for to protect?

Meanwhile on the park Lee Wallace is getting the Caixinha Cold Shoulder as he is surplus to requirements at Speedy Gonzales FC. The full Barrie v Banger Bhuna is being visited upon our favourite Supergrass:

Those pesky Hibs fans called me bad names Mr.McLean. Just as well that 200 of The Klan rushed the field when we were safely in the dressing room to preserve our dignity.”

Alves has been promised the Captain’s Armband. Pedro is growing tired of Wallace & Gromit (Kenny Miller) not high-kicking to his every word. It has been a long close season since Lite lost out to a Luxembourg Lucky Bag of part-timers. I’m sure there’s no truth in the rumour that the Grass has been overheard stating:

Infamy, infamy, Banger’s got it in for me.”

At Celtic Park this evening Celtic host a useful Rosemborg side without a recognised centre forward. I broke the exclusive news on Twitter that Dembele’s hamstring was playing up again and that he would miss out on another big night of European football at Celtic Park. A two goal cushion might be difficult to come by when relying upon Armstrong and Rogic to both find the net. Johnny Hayes is a competent journeyman but not a patch on Patrick Roberts. The team from The Paris of The North are deadly on the break. It should be a cracking tie played before a capacity crowd, minus The Green Brigade. Not that capacity crowds are in any way unique at Celtic as they have sold out on season tickets for 2017/2018 and opened a waiting list for 2018/2019.

The only fly in Celtic’s ointment is the systemic tax evasion and cheating of Rangers. It’s the governing body’s (the SFA) duty to sanction Rangers for their industrial cheating. If Lawwell decides to throw his weight around, Regan will need more than Doncaster to hold his jacket.

 

Moving On For Dummies

One does not have to await the 48 hour SPFL review to realise that the fix is in. Different board members – same fix. The pause for dramatic effect is fooling no-one. Rod McKenzie has been well briefed to add a legal balm to the predetermined decision. The LNS decision will be held up as the final word on a minimum of thirteen years of cheating, despite not having the remit to address the systemic cheating in the first place. The tainted evidence of Campbell Ogilvie and The Bryson Fallacy, by any measure the flimsiest of premises, will have the full weight of our shiny new SPFL board behind them. In the parallel universe of Scottish football the LNS Commission trumps the Supreme Court.

The individual that I’m most disappointed with is Ann Budge. One envisaged a fresh set of eyes and a new broom. But as soon as she crossed the threshold of the SPFL offices at Hampden, which are cheek by jowl with the SFA ( or the left and right buttock of the same arse if you prefer) she knew what was expected of her. Sporting Integrity had been bludgeoned to death by the concerted efforts of Doncaster and Regan who had rigged the LNS Commission to give Rangers a mere slap on the wrist. It was being buried in a shallow grave near the car park. Budge was invited to have a kick at the carcass prior to more topsoil being added. She duly obliged.

Budge expects us to move on. To jump in our cars and motor to Gorgie to pay good money to help her rebuild a stand. Will it be called The Ann Budge Stand?

The Green Brigade, who consider themselves to be the beating heart of Celtic, have an opportunity to redeem themselves. They should lead the boycotts of Tynecastle and Pittodrie and shout ‘scabs’ at any Celtic fans attending either venue. Let Budge and Milne know in no uncertain terms that one will not buy in to their bastardised compromises. Hit them in their Key Performance Indicators and watch their eyes bleed.

Peter Lawwell, who will sit down to watch a team without a recognised centre forward at Celtic Park tomorrow evening, has been busy fucking up Izzaguire’s transfer to a team in The Persian Gulf. Lawwell threw a spanner in the works by demanding a higher upfront payment than was initially agreed upon. One can but hope that a compromise can be arrived at.

Does anyone have any confidence in a Celtic appeal of the SPFL decision to the SFA? If CFC don’t step up, they will be complicit in the cover up of 13 years of systemic cheating. As Craig Whyte pointed out, Rangers were still screwing the tax man when he took control in May 2011. They had collectively decided to take their cheating into a new tax year. These individuals have no shame. Those with any sympathy for Barry Ferguson should take a long hard look at his tax bill of north of £1.4m and observe how he will never pay tax on the quantum that he received. Ferguson is an unabashed tax cheat.

If CFC issue a strongly-worded statement asserting that although they disagree with the SPFL decision, they are bound by it, Scottish football is going to hell in a handbasket.

Prior to considering a judicial review one must be careful to avoid the recommendations of the LNS commission. Regan’s subverted commission did not look at the transgressions of a team illegally avoiding their social taxes. The former directors of Rangers Football Club in liquidation should be sued for subverting the Scottish game. They cheated their way to prize money, a bigger slice of broadcasting revenues and CL participation. They gained a pecuniary advantage through deception. They engaged in fraud.

Sue them. It does not matter if BDO disburse damages. The cheating will be laid bare for all to see. The corrupt governance of Doncaster and Regan, aided and abetted by Budge and Milne, will have no place to hide.

A crowdfund should be established this week. There is no time to delay.