The Asterisk Years

Is it just me or does Club 1872 remind one of booking into a hotel in Torremolinos to find that the pool is being used to mix cement for the construction going on above your head. Meanwhile the construction workers think nothing of pissing over their makeshift balconies. Which is the perfect metaphor for Club 1872’s latest statement which manages to piss over Celtic, the victims of child abuse, sporting integrity and Scottish football as a whole. One can envisage the statement being drafted in The Louden Tavern, with the jukebox blaring out selection 1690 – ” No Pope of Rome.” It really is a doozy. One can but hope that the milliners’ friend, James Blair, played no part in this or I would be leading calls to have him struck off.

Club 1872 has taken some time to consider the verdict in the ‘Big Tax Case’ (BTC) as we wanted to gauge the immediate reaction of sections of the media, Scottish football clubs, their supporters groups and the Scottish football authorities. That reaction has been, in the main, as hysterical, inaccurate and agenda driven as we expected. It appears there is still a desire in certain quarters for Scottish football to eat itself alive. Contrary to the line taken by several dishonest media commentators, encouraged predominantly by Peter Lawwell and Celtic Football Club, this result does not mean that Rangers have “broken the law”, “acted illegally”, “cheated” or gained any sporting advantage through the historic use of EBT payments. The Lord Nimmo Smith tribunal dealt comprehensively with this matter and, as the SFA has correctly reiterated, is final and binding.

Despite this, we remain concerned that the SPFL board may attempt to act on behalf of Celtic in this matter. It is our belief that a small number of other SPFL clubs, including Aberdeen and Dundee Utd, would like to see them do so. We are also aware that historically the SPFL lawyer, Rod McKenzie has taken an extremely hostile attitude towards Rangers Football Club which we do not believe is founded in his legal opinions. Should it be the case that the SPFL do decide to act for the benefit of Celtic, then the clubs represented on that board should be aware that Club 1872, and we are sure Rangers Football Club and the wider Rangers support, will use every legal means necessary to challenge those who promote, support or facilitate such a course of action. That will include, but not be limited to, mounting a legal challenge to the SPFL, boycotting publications whose journalists misreport the facts of the matter and demanding SPFL and SFA investigations into any and all dubious actions by those clubs over the period of the last 50 years. 

The investigations we will demand specifically involve, but are not limited to, the actions of several boards, individual board members and employees of Celtic Football Club, across a variety of issues which have been in the public domain for many years but never properly addressed by the football authorities. We will also demand that the football authorities open multiple investigations and examine in public, and in detail, all deals which allowed Scottish football clubs to write off their debts and the fit and proper status of all majority and joint owners of SPFL clubs. We will not be lectured on integrity, sporting or otherwise, by the clubs involved. The last time there was an attempt to steal our titles, those involved operated in an environment where Rangers and the Rangers support were in a state of turmoil. The focus of our support was in removing various unsavoury characters from within our own club. That will not be the case this time and any clubs, club officials and commentators involved in any such dishonest and self-serving campaign will be met by wide-ranging, robust, legal and economic challenges at every step of the way. It would be our preference for Scottish football to return to a more normalised condition where sporting endeavour on the pitch is the source of rivalry between clubs. If that is not the wish of the wider Scottish footballing community then they will find us to be extremely committed opponents nonetheless.”

54 and counting.” 

Perhaps I was kind when comparing the authors of this diatribe to a Spanish holiday nightmare. Should one go further afield?

As much as I endeavour I cannot find one statement in this text that I agree with. To aid my rebuttal I will deal with each point in the order in which it was presented:

1. “Club 1872 has taken some time to consider the verdict in the ‘Big Tax Case’ (BTC) as we wanted to gauge the immediate reaction of sections of the media, Scottish football clubs, their supporters groups and the Scottish football authorities. That reaction has been, in the main, as hysterical, inaccurate and agenda driven as we expected.”

This is inaccurate on so many levels. There has been a conspicuous absence of coverage in the Rangers Lite fanzines. The award-winning journalist at The Daily Record, Keith Jackson, seems to prefer his ‘gogglebox’ take on Wimbledon to any stab at the biggest scandal in British sporting history. Does James Traynor have his tongue?

2. “It appears there is still a desire in certain quarters for Scottish football to eat itself alive.”

Should one draw a veil over systemic cheating on an industrial scale for the good of Scottish football?

3. “Contrary to the line taken by several dishonest media commentators, encouraged predominantly by Peter Lawwell and Celtic Football Club, this result does not mean that Rangers have “broken the law”, “acted illegally”, “cheated” or gained any sporting advantage through the historic use of EBT payments. The Lord Nimmo Smith tribunal dealt comprehensively with this matter and, as the SFA has correctly reiterated, is final and binding.”

I have it on good authority that Peter Lawwell is currently on a family holiday. Any involvement on his part is little more than idle speculation. Tax evasion, and specifically issuing inaccurate annual tax returns, are criminal offences. Each and every one of the EBT recipients engaged in a criminal conspiracy to defraud The Exchequer. The Nimmo Smith Inquiry was not in any way comprehensive as it did not consider the illegal DOS/VSS antecedent of EBT. The retired Lord Ordinary made a number of recommendations that were predicated on false premises. He assumed that EBT were a legitimate means of tax avoidance. This premise is unsound. There is nothing final and binding about hired counsel coming to a whitewashed conclusion. A 250,000 fine, in light of the aforementioned criminal conspiracies, is woefully inadequate.

4. “Despite this, we remain concerned that the SPFL board may attempt to act on behalf of Celtic in this matter. It is our belief that a small number of other SPFL clubs, including Aberdeen and Dundee Utd, would like to see them do so. We are also aware that historically the SPFL lawyer, Rod McKenzie has taken an extremely hostile attitude towards Rangers Football Club which we do not believe is founded in his legal opinions.”

If a majority of club representatives on the SPFL board seek a more thorough and truly independent review, what do Rangers have to hide?  Will Club 1872’s assertion that Rangers have nothing to hide, and nothing to be ashamed of, hold up to scrutiny? Real scrutiny far removed from Harper McLeod’s investigation. There was nothing independent about their selective data collation. As for Rod McKenzie did he not have a duty to recover the fine and costs of the appeal by Rangers Lite?

6. “Should it be the case that the SPFL do decide to act for the benefit of Celtic, then the clubs represented on that board should be aware that Club 1872, and we are sure Rangers Football Club and the wider Rangers support, will use every legal means necessary to challenge those who promote, support or facilitate such a course of action. That will include, but not be limited to, mounting a legal challenge to the SPFL, boycotting publications whose journalists misreport the facts of the matter and demanding SPFL and SFA investigations into any and all dubious actions by those clubs over the period of the last 50 years. The investigations we will demand specifically involve, but are not limited to, the actions of several boards, individual board members and employees of Celtic Football Club, across a variety of issues which have been in the public domain for many years but never properly addressed by the football authorities. We will also demand that the football authorities open multiple investigations and examine in public, and in detail, all deals which allowed Scottish football clubs to write off their debts and the fit and proper status of all majority and joint owners of SPFL clubs.”

Club 1872’s thinly veiled threat is that they will ‘demand’ another investigation into historic child abuse at Celtic Boys Club. The Louden Tavern rhetoric – Kiddie Fiddling is worse than Tax Fiddling – is now on the table. I have no desire to revisit this abuse. Suffice to say there were criminal prosecutions.

Club 1872 do not have the executive authority to demand anything of the SFA or the SPFL. They are not a member club. They can lobby but not demand.

As for their fit & proper allegations, they should have a closer look at their holding company chairman who is a convicted criminal. King, Paul Murray and Johnston should all be barred sine die from Scottish football for their part in systemic tax fraud.

7. “It would be our preference for Scottish football to return to a more normalised condition where sporting endeavour on the pitch is the source of rivalry between clubs. If that is not the wish of the wider Scottish footballing community then they will find us to be extremely committed opponents nonetheless.

“54 and counting.”

Translation: Let’s draw a veil over the cheating and accept the ridiculous contention that we are the same club. I refer the addled minds of Club 1872 to UEFA’s position that Rangers Lite are a new club:

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CqYW5iMWgAAMnra?format=jpg&name=large

As for 54 and counting I would include the subtraction of a quantum of five in one’s calculations.

****************************************************************

In the final analysis when one thinks of King’s assertion that Celtic have only won two of their six successive titles legitimately, is it not time to form a breakaway league and leave this pariah club and the SFA behind?  I would retain the SPFL board, but demand Doncaster’s head. An SFA council of all leading clubs, excluding Rangers Lite, could then be established. King, Paul Murray, Johnston, Regan, Bryson et al should be consigned to history as a footnote to The Asterisk Years.

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22 thoughts on “The Asterisk Years”

  1. A good summary of an ill advised statement from the lunatic fringe of the Sevco support, but more importantly a fantastic read.

  2. Great analysis JJ. Only correction I would make would be with this statement…

    “As for 54 and counting I would include the subtraction of a quantum of five in one’s calculations.”

    The old club should be stuck on 49 forever. The new club should be 0 and counting.

  3. The Five Asterisks on the current TRFC strip can now be said to be one for every four glib and shameless RFC titles.

    Thanks to Heroic Heidi Poon for spotting that EBT really meant Evade British Tax.

    Dear Stewpot…… Time to tell the nation if the SFA paid ‘ the side letter’ element of the RFC player’s ‘remuneration’ claimed, when injured on Scotland duty, as Heidi forensically disclosed.

  4. ABsolute muppets …lined up as all part of the myth campaign and narrative and you rightly and neatly eviscerate their deranged idiotic nonsense.

    They should be attacking Murray and the old board in particular for crucially not fessing up to their crimes in 2004 when this could all have been fixed . Instead they attack everyone else as usual

    RAngers PLED GUILTY in 8 Cases
    Rangers pleaded Not Guilty to at least 47 other Cases and were FOUND GUILTY on these cases by the Highest Courts in the Land .
    Illegal Tax Evasion pure and simple . End of discussion about GUILT

    A convicted criminal in the dock ,his associates ,close family and friends have NO SAY WHATSOEVER in what sentence the criminal has to serve and endure as a result of his crimes

    SO……No-one remotely associated with Rangers should be asked ( not in the press,not on BBC or other radio ,not on polls etcetce) their opinion on trophy stripping . No Dave King , no club 1872 ,no Gordon Smith ,no Derek Johnston ,no fans etc .
    What happens to them now is a matter for the rest of us pure and simple . ..and our governing representatives need to be held to account to make sure they do that appropriately on our behalf and in spades given the seriousness of the crimes

    The criminal’s opportunity for defence and appeal ended at the Supreme Court !

  5. Transaction ID 9HG16464CY914xxxx

    Anyone else picking up on the narrative being used in MSM et al is tax avoidance rather than tax evasion? Surely the SC ruling makes this tax evasion.
    Also, CCKs latest statement that they’re spending more than their income is clearly admitting that they don’t meet FFP regulations. I nearly wet myself when he referred back to the Oldco board and said they were all aware the overspend was going on but SDM had assured them he would pick up the tab. Surely this is a breach of directors fiducary duties. Bet all the oldco board are delighted that CCK has just dropped them in it.

    1. Bang on the money. Tax avoidance is legally structuring your affairs to minimise tax. Tax evasion is illegally doing so. A recent court case will tell you which description applies

  6. It’s hard to believe that anyone with more than two brain cells to rub together could have devised such an ignorant (and yet devious), logic-defying, arrogant statement.

    I have never been in favour of the suggestion in your final paragraph to form a breakaway league, but after reading this utter tosh I might be persuaded.

    Monthly payment of £15 made July 7.

    Transaction ID: 4GE46251V8776xxxx

    JJ: Cheers John.

  7. Side letters are breaking the rules all monies must be declaired to the SFA
    Clear break of rules equals cheating
    They all talk about moving on yes please let us all move on but take the punishment for your cheating first just as juventus and marsille had to do
    After all its for the good of scottish football

  8. As you say this threat must have been written in the louden tavern, it is nothing more than an outright threat to every man ,woman and possibly children who dare to say or think what they believe is wrong in this matter , it is they who are evil, blind or just plain simple.

  9. What a “HISSY FIT” all that was missing was WATP. King is all already on record as stating the ‘Tax Case’ was nothing to do and didn’t effect the ‘”*NEW RANGERS*”‘ so it is a bit late in throwing the ‘Toys Out The Pram’. “BOO-HOO” you got caught ‘Cheating’, you and the authorities better deal with it as it’s not going away unchallenged at least via the court of arbitration for sport. You will never be the peepil while you hold a racist and sectarian view point, who doesn’t get that the world has moved on and left YOU behind.

  10. The ridiculous statement by Club 1872 shows that they are really concerned by the possibility of title stripping. If they thought it was impossible then they would not have issued a statement. Their problem is that their statement is just mere rhetoric and not factualy based as you have so cogently explained. This month is crucial. There will be either an irresistible tsunami to sweep away the tainted titles or a continued stubborn obfuscation and refusal to follow rules. If Reagan and Doncaster are still in post then they will try to resist the inevitable as they have done for the last 5 years. Everything has changed however with the Supreme Court ruling. This is the final declaration of impropriety and cannot be challenged. It is no longer a case of ‘if ‘ but ‘when’ title stripping takes place.

  11. Fantastic that you can produce an article on the illegality, curruption and blatant intimidation that is the cess-pit of Scottish Football and include The Dead Kennedys into the article, one of my favourite tracks. Chapeau!

  12. JJ it reminds me of the fat Sally jibe “who are these people” another not so veiled threat, surely a complaint should be made by Celtic to the SFA over this.
    £22 dues paid again JJ

    JJ: Thank you

  13. JJ
    I had a payment returned this morning £7.00
    that I sent in June I must have done something
    wrong will try and get it to you after I find out.
    at present I send £5.00 per month no problems
    Bellabhoy

  14. Sterling work as always. The last two posts are your finest yet on this topic, imho. Regular donation sent: Transaction number – 5NV42149KA658XXXX

  15. Can someone please enlighten me as to why there is a debate on this title stripping issue ? Why does there have to be an appetite ?
    That is all I’ve heard all week .. ‘there’s no appetite for title stripping’ excuse me! It doesn’t matter a jot whether there is an appetite or not, the old Rangers have been caught tax evading, the debate is over now! there is only the right and proper sanctions that cheating sports clubs or individuals have coming their way. The punishment must fit the crime, it’s called justice.
    Time for Justice has arrived. Debate is over.

    Over to the relevant authorities ..

  16. One has to wonder what planet club 1872 are on.They must be halfwits.It just shows you
    how corrupt the scottish football establishment are.Sevco have been found guilty of what can only be described as cheating on an industrial scale and therefore the authorities
    must strip them of any titles won during the period in question. They broke the law and they must be punished plain and simple.

  17. rangers knowingly, deliberately and systematically cheated over a prolonged period of time.
    cheats cheat to gain an advantage but whether or not they gained an advantage is of no consideration.
    when you cheat in sports you get disqualified. it really is that simple.
    rangers admitted to cheating in the small tax case and have been found to have cheated in the big tax case.
    they will be disqualified and they know it.

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