Neil Doncaster – The Cover Up MC

To say that Ralph Topping, the outgoing Chairman of the SPFL, made an arse of himself in his interview with Alan Patullo does a discredit to other fundaments. He is not fooling anyone. The go-to-counsel for the rebranded SPL, who now refer to themselves as the SPFL, is Rod McKenzie. He is not a QC. As Topping has no intention of revealing his name, he disingenuously suggested that a QC was engaged in four consultations. To sit down on four occasions with a QC would have cost a minimum of £14,000 plus VAT, £16,800 plus expenses. Topping’s narrative is as fishy as a smoked Arbroath haddock.

When one considers Rod McKenzie and Ralph Topping, the late Rod Hull and Emu comes to mind: jj passim – Rod Hull & Emu v Rod McKenzie. The following, in bold italic typeface, is an extract from my archive:


In one of the preceding photographs is an individual with a penchant for the comedy of the absurd; in the other is the late Rod Hull & Emu. The inclusion of a glove puppet masquerading as a bird was no accident. It is an apposite metaphor for the curious case of Rangers 2012, the Club with a capital C, whom our learned friend would have us believe is Rangers 1872 or Rangers 1899 as per its date of incorporation.

If I were to rank all three characters in terms of their credibility, I would plump for Emu, followed by Rod Hull’s exhumed cadaver, with Rod McKenzie a distant third. Mr McKenzie is so slippery that he could qualify as a UNESCO Heritage Site for Tree Frogs.

Scottish Football has evolved into a corrupt mutation of association football to accommodate a lie. The Lie that Rangers 1872/1899, the club with a Capital C, was sold to Charles Green’s Sevco Scotland as a going concern. Mr Green, with a deft touch of smoke and mirrors, renamed Rangers as RFC 2012. Rangers was finally put out of its misery when Lord Hodge consigned it to Liquidation on October 31, 2012. HMRC, with £92m in unpaid and evaded taxes, voted against the CVA. Rangers were hoist by their own corrupt petard.

As Rangers twisted in the wind like an effigy at Celtic Park, Charles Green was alive to the possibility of making a fast blue buck by acquiring the trading assets of the distressed company and repackaging them as a bastardised version of Rangers. Those who came down in the last shower, wearing bread wrappers on their heads, did not notice the difference. Colour me surprised with a capital C.

Mr. McKenzie is one of the founding partners of Harper McLeod. He acts for the William Hill Organization in relation to betting licensing and general litigation matters in Scotland and the north of England. He is also the legal adviser to the Scottish Premier League and has acted for them in numerous litigations, disputes and contractual matters.

He is best known for his sleight of hand when he conveniently excluded the illegal DOS/VSS tax-evasion instrument from Bill Smith’s Whitewash Commission. In his esteemed opinion, EBT were a legitimate means of tax ‘efficiency’ which did not confer a sporting advantage. I trust McKenzie, whose integrity has no beginning, as far as I could throw him. In the entertainment that was the Kinloch v Coral civil case, which I nicknamed The Hunfight at the OK Coral, McKenzie’s testimony elicited the most incredulity.

When Counsel asked McKenzie if he had a good knowledge of SPL rules , he duly responded:

I suspect I am the person with the best knowledge. I am phoned up and asked about SPL rules on an almost daily basis. The Club, with a capital C, had been sold to Sevco Scotland ltd. We learned this from the press mainly.”

I have highlighted this statement in red as it beggars belief. McKenzie, who must be more than aware of the failed CVA, would have us believe that he would take the fanciful flights of folly of those such as Keith Jackson and Shug Jack as the perceived wisdom of the age.

Mr McKenzie is a Charlatan with a Capital C.


The following exchange was instructive:

Mr Sandison inquired:

“Was the football team called Rangers FC ever relegated from the SPL?”

McKenzie responded:

That would require me to make a judgement on what is ‘relegation’ and I’d rather not do so.”

Forgive me if I pause with exasperation. The self-styled consigliere of the SPL, the go to guy on the rules that he drafted and ratified, was not prepared to make a judgment call on relegation. Was he not prepared to make this call in deference to one of his paymasters, Neil Doncaster, who would have us believe that Rangers are the same club, who through some as yet unspecified sanction found themselves in the lowest tiers of Scottish football?

The prosaic facts of the matter was that McKenzie was not prepared to lie under oath. He is however more than comfortable to lie to the SPL. I have access to the minutes from the SPL Interim Board Meeting of 28 February 2013, which was conducted by conference call.

At this meeting:

“Rod McKenzie summarised the charges brought against Rangers FC over an 11-year period relating to non-disclosure of side letters involving around 50 players. He explained that the (LNS) Commission had found that the SPL was right to consider that SPL Rules had been broken and that OldCo had been found guilty of a breach of those Rules. The Commission had found that OldCo had not, during that period, gained any sporting advantage by the non-disclosure of the documentation. The Commission had also found, based on the evidence and a construction of the Rules, that during the periods in issue the Players were Registered and, therefore, eligible. A financial sanction of £250k had been imposed upon OldCo for failing to disclose the documentation but no sporting sanction had been applied, nor were any penalties imposed on Rangers FC.”

Rod McKenzie advised that Lord Nimmo Smith had elected to reference explicitly within the judgment the SPL Board’s instruction not to seek any specific sanction. Lord Nimmo Smith had also made reference to the fact that the Commission had power to apply any sanctions.   

In relation to recovering monies from OldCo, Rod McKenzie indicated the limited prospect of recovery of the £250k financial sanction imposed by the Commission. During discussion, the following points were noted:

 The Commission Hearing had been based entirely upon the issue of a breach of the SPL Rules as instructed by the Board.

 The tax case had been referenced significantly within the judgment but it had been made clear that the issues before the Commission were entirely different and that whether or not payments to players were taxable emoluments was irrelevant to the Commission.

 The proportionality of the sanction, i.e the level of the fine, was questioned.”


The text in blue italic typeface unequivocally states the scope of the LNS commission. The board instructed Nimmo Smith to only consider registration breaches. They did not want the vexed question of the tax evasion to be considered. 

Eric Riley of Celtic FC dialled into this interim meeting. The recent statement of the Celtic board is precise. They want the vexed question of the tax evasion on the table.

The SPL Interim Meeting was called to consider whether the SPL should appeal the £250,000 sanction. There was a feeling that the sanction was inappropriate given the scope of the registration irregularities. Any appeal would have been submitted to the  SFA. Mr Topping wrote the following:

From: Ralph Topping Sent: 07 March 2013 14:49 To: Iain Blair; Neil Doncaster; Duncan Fraser; Stephen Thompson; Eric Riley Cc: Rod McKenzie


Gents I understand that Iain has spoken with most people from the Board about the appeal process and having spoken with Rod I have his advice that in a nutshell we have to appeal today and be clear as to the grounds of appeal . I also understand that Eric is overseas on holiday but for the understandable reason of time zone difference is uncomfortable with the timescale being asked of him . As things currently stand Duncan , Michael , Stephen and Neil are in favour of no appeal being made . In the circumstances , given this is as important a subject as I think the SPL Board has discussed in my time as Chair I want to make my own position clear and not hide behind arithmetic as I could do.

I believe the proportionality of Lord Nimmo Smith’s determination is questionable . A fine of £250,000 for an enterprise of Rangers Oldco’s size and turnover and indeed strong leadership position in Scottish football on the evidence led as to the scale of the undeclared payments is not proportionate . I am also uncomfortable with Lord NS’s view that whilst the SPL Board wanted no sanction ruled out we seem to have led no evidence or made no statement in the course of the consideration by LNS on competitive advantage Ranger’s Oldco enjoyed which effectively ruled LNS from considering it . My question therefore to all Board Members is this : are you happy that in not appealing you are effectively saying that competitive disadvantage to all SPL clubs is immaterial and that you are happy with the scale of the fine ? My question to Rod is having not led evidence on Sporting disadvantage is this ruled out as a ground of appeal ?

My question therefore to all Board Members is this : are you happy that in not appealing you are effectively saying that competitive disadvantage to all SPL clubs is immaterial and that you are happy with the scale of the fine ?

My question to Rod is having not led evidence on Sporting disadvantage is this ruled out as a ground of appeal ?

I remain uneasy on both counts but accept that recovering monies from Oldco is unlikely no matter the quantum . The outcome in my view is still not proportionate .

I would have liked more time to discuss this in person but as I am advised we don’t have it if you could confirm that you are not for turning I would be grateful . Sorry to ask but I feel I must given the importance of this matter .


Let’s look at this e-mail, which has never seen the light of day, carefully. To reiterate for emphasis, Topping states:

“My question therefore to all Board Members is this : are you happy that in not appealing you are effectively saying that competitive disadvantage to all SPL clubs is immaterial and that you are happy with the scale of the fine ?”

Topping is asserting that all SPL clubs were at a competitive disadvantage, and that this was a ground for appeal. Neil Doncaster, The Cover Up MC,  evidently gave Topping a flea in his ear. Less than three hours later, Topping recanted:


From Ralph Topping Sent: 07 March 2013 17:47 To: Stephen Thompson; Duncan Fraser Cc: Rod McKenzie; Iain Blair; Neil Doncaster; Eric Riley; Michael Johnston Subject: Re: Appeal to SFA

The consensus is clear on an appeal . There is a majority against .

We will though review this matter at the Board on Monday to look at key learnings and implications.



There are many emails appended to the minutes. None of these were from Eric Riley. Doncaster quashed the appeal in less than three hours, blindsiding Riley who was on vacation. Welcome to the SPL who give the corrupt SFA a good run for their money.

As a final note it should be flagged that the discredited Topping will not be stepping down on the first of August. He will hang around like a bad smell for two more months to show MacLennan the ropes. One can assume that the key to room 101, where all the bodies are buried, will be conspicuous by its absence,


34 thoughts on “Neil Doncaster – The Cover Up MC”

  1. Wonderful research JJ. You have done well to unearth such explosive documents showing the malfeasance. It seems that some people in The SPFL and SFA will die in a ditch before they accept that the cheats have to be held to account. They will bluster and try to obfuscate. Nothing less than 0-3 results being recorded in the official records will suffice however. That means title stripping and reallocation as in all other sport. Scottish Football is supposed to be a sport. Celtic’s response asking for the timeframe of the review has been indirectly responded to with ‘Never’. I do not expect Celtic to sit at the back of the bus any more. Of course the SPFL have not formally replied to Celtic yet but they will have to. That is when the next step takes place and it will be tenacious. The Celtic legal team is first class and they have only just started. To my knowledge none are from Arbroath! The Supreme Court unanimous judgement of guilt was the final nail in the continuity myth. Celtic have patiently waited for 5 years enduring the many calls for precipitate action. They now finally have all the ammunition they need. The next few months will be momentous but eventually I believe that justice will prevail.

    1. Pat Travers on a Sunday morning, Naw.

      Friends from France, Holland and Germany have contacted me to ask why there is a debate on title stripping, as it is the next step, no debate.

      The gnashing of teeth , the forelock tugging and the arse covering are now redundant, but ‘you can only pish with the cock you’ve got’, so they will up all of these behaviours.

      We are the laughing stock of European football run by the bookies for the bookies.

      Good series of articles, I don’t know how you do it.

      Pat Travers?

  2. Hi JJ

    As ever an excellent article highlighting the level of corruption at the core of the institutions that are supposed to be the guardians of the very rules they claim to hold so dear.

    This saga of clear corruption and ineptitude is EXACTLY the same as what is happening in the US under Trump. You now have two clear instances were it is obvious that actions have been taken and decisions made which are clearly and manifestly wrong and the individuals who are involved are still in place and show no signs of being removed.

    My question specifically relating to the SFA and the SPFL is quite simply this; what in God’s name will it take to get these people removed!

    1. Sheer class. Brilliant & concise with the accuracy & extremely impressive but I feel until we get UEFA yo give a cast iron judgement on the OldCo Newco position whether directly to the SEA or to Celtic FC we will always have a biased organisation protecting the stripping of titles & trophies “won” during the financial doping period of OldCo. My belief is The Court for Arbitration of Sport within UEFA must make a decision on OldCo & stripping of the titles & confirm in black & white OldCo cheated, gained an unfair sporting advantage so therefore the decision becomes irrefutable & unavoidable for the Orcs!

    2. That may be your opinion, have lived over here for 30 years and the American MSM is as crooked as the SMSM and they have an agenda.It galls me that there is still so much whining going on, the rest of the USA are more than happy except for the Gagging State of California(once the Golden State) and the New York numpties who live in a bubble where Unicorns walk and Kumbayah is the song of the week!!. Get over it, he will be back for a second term, anyway this forum is not the place for American politics, or maybe not, this is the Speakeasy where opinions can be shared despite differences.
      Gaun The Killie

  3. Great piece as always JJ

    I am convinced more than ever that Doncaster is a disgrace of a man who should be run out of Scottish football.

    His running down of the game and league should have seen in kicked out of office a long time back.

    Its actually good to see Topping question the initial decision but sadly now is towing the party line.

    Interested to see what comes next.

  4. Interesting blast from the Bugle (sorry – Herald) by Martin Williams this morning:

    “FORMER Rangers owner Craig Whyte is in line for a £5 million payout from the liquidated funds of the company which owned the club [sic] while the tax authorities, owed more than £90m, are not expected to receive a penny.”

    Now, I wonder where he found out about this possibility, JJ?

  5. You have the best sources of ANYONE who is covering the Rangers narrative and collusion with the Scottish governing bodies. Scottish journalists, who read this site for the latest developments, don’t have the courage to touch this story.

    This is truly explosive stuff with discussions within the governing body which openly recognises that Rangers gained a sporting advantage illegally.

    You have raised your very high bar recently and your past few articles, including this piece, may well have lit the fuse……

  6. Another great article JJ Please keep up the fine work you’re doing and hopefully these brigands will all be exposed publicly for what they are and we can get on with restoring Scottish football’s reputation. Donation sent with pleasure my friend.

  7. JJ is there a reason why my comments are not making it past your filter ? I have made 2 or 3 contributions so don’t think that’s a reason, although I have never had you acknowledge these.

  8. This guy Doncaster reminds me of the old social clubs where-by their was always one guy who was the Owner ??? and had all his cronnies lined up keeping his back safe, they had special tables which no-one could sit at unless in the wee gang or married to one of them. Doncaster is going to get the boot and the sooner the better.
    Dermot Desmond had his rude awakening at the semi-final the season before last and it made him into a really bad enemy to have fighting against you, he is guiding Celtic into this affair and you can be sure he is not going to lose, Doncaster will go and the titles and cups will go with him, maybe he could sell them on E Bay

  9. Another excellent piece JJ. As regards donations, I have sent two this month (1st and 13th) and I assume you got them, smallish though they may be ! Can you just confirm that they are getting to you and also explain your intentions regarding the pay wall etc.

    JJ: Received with thanks.

  10. Another forensic analysis! I have recommended the article to several friends, as well as yesterdays and The Mensch’s summary of the previous day which was an excellent summary of how lacking our press are.
    I made a regular contribution on 30/06 ref OOP34225yw496xxxx I also tried to send a top up on 4/6 using friends and family but it was returned on 5/7. I would like to set up another regular contribution usinf friends and family. Perhaps you could email me to confirm that it will not be rejected.

  11. Congratulations on another fine ‘Scoop’. Being OBSESSED, I had a look on CAS website to see how much it would cost to raise an action against all the “Perpetrators” involved in this never-ending saga. To this uneducated eye it would appear that ANYONE can raise an action against ANYONE if they believe an ‘Injustice’ has been carried out. I can’t see anywhere that it needs to be a member Club or Association, hell we could even apply for LEGAL AID. The “FORCE” is with us Sir Bampot-a-lots as it’s the side of TRUTH. 🙂

  12. Another excellent piece JJ, and the Topping email surely now exposes the LNS enquiry and outcome as the whitewash we have long known it to be.

    I make a recurring donation, last transaction left my PayPal a/c on 9th July, transaction ID 02K06917RW05xxxx Do you need me to quote this whenever I post, or do you keep a record of your recurring donators?

  13. Sent donation today. Confirmation number: 2N185945NH70xxxx
    Another great article they just keep coming one after another. But I Feel you are wasting your time as the SPFL/SFA will do SFA, there will be no inquiry or title stripping. And as for fans talking about Boycotting grounds where Chairmen/women or owners do not Demand action from the football governing bodies to punish oldco Rangers, it will not happen as fans will feel they are letting their team down.
    As always keep up the good work (you never know I might be wrong)
    But most of all keep safe.

    JJ: Thank you FB. I sent you a longer note under separate cover.

  14. JJ – Firstly I feel it appropriate to commend you on the quality of your output;- the downside or effect of which finds me increasingly incensed by this lack of action. It’s quite literally driving me crazy.
    At this juncture its obvious that these brigands have absolutely no intention of doing the right the right thing and moreover have the fcuking gall to be indignant about it. It’s therefore VERY CLEAR that nothing short of a seismic event will bring this to the fore.
    It’s lamentable that it took the City of London police to uncover these crimes and worse still that despite Supreme court judgements and high court evidence being within the public forum absolutely nothing has been done to address this cheating.
    Let’s not kid ourselves – it would STILL be happening but for these events.
    I can only think that something like Celtic themselves officially boycotting both the SPFL and Scottish cups would bring the necessary spotlight on this via UK and European journalists. That simply couldn’t be ignored.
    I don’t know what the the penalties would be for that but I’m pretty sure that once that the applecart was overturned with full disclosures including loss of CL revenues etc it would be an irrelevance.

  15. Another week dawns and the battle resumes. Who will triumph? The forces of resistance or the forces of persistence? So far it looks like resistance is winning but the heavy artillery of the persistence movement is yet to be rolled out. When it does the resistance will increase but the power of persistence is unstoppable.

    Those with a vested interest may seek over the coming weeks to portray calls to expunge the honours won by the defunct rangers club as a petty vendetta, jealousy, or even worse, irrelevant. They are wrong, and as in 2012 they will be overcome.
    There is a fundamental question of fairness, and it must be answered regardless of the passing of time. There is no passive, do-nothing option. The question is, should cheating be allowed, and if you do not answer No, you are explicitly and unequivocally saying Yes.
    But the answer to that is by definition No, and therefore it is utterly out of the question that Scottish football’s rolls of honour can continue to recognise trophies won by the largest campaign of financial doping our game has ever known. The identity of the perpetrator matters not. The sim- ple fact is that a club unlawfully withheld from the taxman an overall amount north of £20m, which sum thus generated sporting benefit via the operational budget when it should properly have been a lost business over- head. This is not a fiver slipped through without touching the books. This is exorbitantly, systematically funding squads of a calibre far in excess of what their resources should have allowed. The Scottish football rule books already recognise the concept of sporting penalty for (non-illegal) financial issues caused by mere poor stewardship; it would be farcical for them to argue that they could not or should not take action on that which was pur- poseful, calculated and actually against the law.
    That Aberdeen, a peripheral competitor during much of this time, would scarcely be a beneficiary of any vacating of honours is not the point. Nobody at The Red Final would have caught Carl Lewis over 100m in 1988 either but that doesn’t mean we think Ben Johnson should have been al- lowed to keep the gold medal. If we are happy to allow cups to be bought for others with my money and yours then we have mortally undermined the principle of sport, and rendered a joke the efforts of all those who have sought to meet their legal, moral and corporate obligations in its pursuit.
    The Red Final today joins those who have called for any trophies won by rangers teams containing players paid via unlawful tax-evading mecha- nisms to be voided and expunged from the official record. We will state this case loudly, vehemently and repeatedly. We will not rest from saying so until those in power have made it so.
    The titles must be stripped.

    For those readers who were curious to the full statement released by AFC fans , of which a few paragraphs were shown on Twitter , the above copied and pasted full statement printed in the Red Final fanzine . It’s actually part of an in- depth 2 page expose on the whole sorry EBT / improperly registered players scenario that we are all too familiar with on here but with the media blackout in full 24/7 mode now , they believe this is the best way to get the proper message out to the AFC fans who are still stupid enough to believe anything they read or hear on SMSM .

    Or even worse , sit back and accept Milne and his fellow board members disgraceful silence on the matter . Milne has always struck me as a ” tug the forelock , yes grieve , no grieve , three bags full grieve ” being a ” farm servant ” is more his outlook with regards to his betters . He no doubt will be comprised by membership to a secret society so no chance he will rock the boat .

    Unless of course he thinks it might cost him money ! Then , being the hungry teuchter that he is , that might concentrate his mind a little bit more . But I’m ashamed at the silence from Pittodrie , as are lots of fellow Dandies , but the local press are just as culpable as the national press ; the Press and Journal isn’t even really a newspaper , more a daily version of The People’s Friend . As for the Evening Express , well , for many years their ” chief ” sportswriter was an ex postman who broke the NUJ strike in the late 80’s and progressed from phoning in a 5 minute report of Sunday Welfare games to reporting on AFC , Scotland etc . Outrageous .

    1. When one makes a much needed contribution to our site on Paypal, as four readers thoughtfully did this morning/yesterday evening, PayPal sends a receipt under separate cover for your records. This receipt has a confirmation number. This is my last ditch attempt to avoid a paywall. Those who wish to comment should make a token contribution. Those who are unwaged and disadvantaged can comment unfettered as usual. There are those who claim that they only contribute 5-4-2-1 pounds as they wont support the freeloaders. They actually support the unwaged and disadvantaged as the freeloaders no longer have a voice.

  17. Superb post as usual JJ, has helped my evening cocktail go down a treat I must say. We must be an absolute laughing stock right round the globe by now though. Even where they have no media or don’t play football. If the wrongs are ever righted then you my friend will have played a huge part in this, whatever your detractors may say. Should anyone have the wherewithal to organise it, count me in for a crown funded pop at these cretins!

    Aclamaciones (I think). TS

  18. Hi JJ
    Can you tell us how the others replied to the initial email?
    I’m particularly interested in Duncan Fraser’s replies.

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