The Discredited LNS Commission

1. From: Duncan Fraser Sent: 07 March 2013 16:26 To: Ralph Topping; Iain Blair; Neil Doncaster; Stephen Thompson; Eric Riley Cc: Rod McKenzie

Subject: RE: Appeal to SFA

Gentlemen,

I wish to put on record to you all my position.

The circumstances we find ourselves in is that we have been unable to get together to discuss the outcome of the commission findings face to face, which is most unfortunate as we would all have benefitted from that. I am and never would pretend to understand the way the law works let alone pass comment. Ralph “Clapham Bus” being as far as I would go.

I am at pains to point out that I, like Ralph, find the size of the fine and therefore the punishment to be disproportionate to the scale of the actions undertaken.

Although the EBT Tax case has been appealed it would be fair to assume that the somewhat surprising Tax Tribunal outcome, that these undeclared payments fell out with PAYE and NIC and therefore were “legal” had an effect on the Commission. It seems that they viewed the use of the EBT as resulting in no sporting advantage that Rangers would have received if they had been declared. In which case why were they not declared? I truly struggle to understand that outcome but cannot see how that can be appealed. In summary the Tax Tribunal outcome has affected the outcome here to a huge extent.

Rod’s point that we did not suggest a sanction and were clear in leaving it to the Commission rules out any appeal on the grounds of “the punishment fitting the crime”.

In summary, I do not believe that the Commission came to the correct decision in terms of sporting advantage and we have no grounds for an appeal based on the punishment being too lenient or it appears sporting advantage given the narrow line they pursued. Therefore reluctantly I have to draw the conclusion that the process is at an end.

This has left for me a very bad taste in the mouth. The ill informed, vitriolic comments of some suggest that this case was not worth pursuing. Although I was not on the Board at the time but I believe the case absolutely needed to be pursued. Unfortunately I perhaps naively assumed a different, more, in my view, appropriate outcome.

Duncan Fraser

Chief Executive

 

 

2. From: Rod McKenzie Sent: 07 March 2013 16:53 To: Duncan Fraser; Ralph Topping; Iain Blair; Neil Doncaster; Stephen Thompson; Eric Riley

Subject: RE: Appeal to SFA

Duncan,

The primary argument advanced for non-disclosure to the SPL and SFA during the period form 2000 – 2011 was that all that required to be disclosed were ‘taxable emoluments’ i.e. payments and benefits made to Players by Clubs under and in terms of their contracts of employment in respect of which the Club was obliged to account for PAYE and NI to the Revenue.

 

I argued, and the Commission agreed, that whilst the Rules of the SPL and the Articles and Regulations of the SFA did not explicitly say that disclosure was required in the case of benefit schemes where the payments to players came in the form of loans form third parties e.g. sub-trusts, that these provisions had to be construed as including such a requirement.

Rangers in effect said that if the EBT details were required to be disclosed the reason they did not disclose them was because of an error by them in understanding what was required to be disclosed and that in any event they had secured no competitive advantage form not disclosing since the tax position would have been the same whether they disclosed to the SPL/SFA or not.

Hope that provides some clarification.

Rod McKenzie

 

I excluded McKenzie’s second e-mail as my piece yesterday ran to 3,000 words. Before proceeding I will address the authenticity of the emails. I have in my possession the entire document. Should any journalist wish to access it, they only have to ask. My source is impeccable. His source is spitting blood that this private correspondence has seen the light of day. There are insights and complex legal arguments that would be inordinately difficult to replicate. I have no doubt whatsoever that these minutes and Appendix 2b containing the correspondence are authentic.

Stewart Regan, whose integrity has no beginning, is probably the worst ever weasel to darken the SFA’s door as Chief Executive. Farry’s ‘delayed’ registration of Jorge Cadete only subverted one Old Firm game. A game that Rangers won 2-1. Regan drove a coach and horses through the UEFA FFP regulations to favour Rangers in 2011, and Rangers Lite in 2017.

His attempt at covering his arse for allowing Rangers to participate in UEFA tournaments in 2011, in which he wrote to Andrew Dickson and Ali Russell, was vetoed by Rangers. Craig Whyte agreed to have dinner with him in the private dining room of Hotel Du Vin; the preferred watering hole for laundering the SFA’s toxic baggage. The Craig Whyte trial proved that he lied about the date when the overdue payable had crystallised. The quantum of circa £2.3m had crystallised prior to the first March cut-off. Regan has lied on this to cover his arse. This is why he wants no SFA inquiry. He is fatally compromised.

His fingerprints are also all over the discredited LNS Commission. Have a look at the following SFA press release:

Independent inquiry panel appointed
Tuesday, 21 February 2012

 

The Scottish FA can confirm that it has appointed as Chair The Right Honourable Lord William Nimmo Smith to inquire independently into Rangers FC.

Stewart Regan, the Scottish FA chief executive, met with Lord Nimmo Smith today to define the terms of reference for the investigation. Lord Nimmo Smith is a former Senator of the College of Justice, who has served as an Insolvency Judge. In 2002, he was one of five judges who heard the appeal of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, the man convicted of the 1988 Lockerbie bombing, at the Scottish Court in the Netherlands.

The independent panel will include Professor Niall Lothian OBE, a Past President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland who was recently honoured in the New Year Honours List for services to Corporate and Civic Governance in Scotland. It also includes Bob Downes, former Director with the BT Group and currently Deputy Chairman of the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency, and Stewart Regan, a member of the panel in his capacity as director of the Scottish FA.

The Independent Inquiry shall be afforded the same powers as the Scottish FA to investigate the potential breach of a number of its Articles of Association and shall present its findings to the Board within two weeks.

Stewart Regan, Scottish FA chief executive: “I am delighted Lord Nimmo Smith has agreed to Chair the Independent Inquiry. I am certain the experience contained within the panel will enable us to achieve more clarity on the situation regarding Rangers FC. There will be no further comment on the investigation until it is complete and its findings presented to the Board.”

 

Regan, on an SPL Commission, defined the terms of engagement. Did he specify that Harper Macleod would not lead any evidence on competitive advantage? Did he press Nimmo The Dimmo to exclude the illegal DOS/VSS antecedent to EBT from consideration?

Did he in short subvert the commission from the get go?

However, even if this is not the case, why is the Chief Executive of the appellate authority on the panel of the original commission?

This fix, and it was a fix, was an amateur production. Nimmo Smith was an inspired choice as he had previously covered up the Edinburgh Judiciary’s arses from their  solicitation of under-age male prostitutes charges. Briefs down in chambers was his specialty. As Regan’s arse was hanging out the window, Nimmo The Dimmo was the perfect go to guy.

Regan’s attempt to isolate Celtic, implying that they are acting out of vested interests, will be his undoing. To put it bluntly he’s fucked. Lawwell will have this corrupt Lite-facing jobsworth’s head on a platter and present it to Dermot Desmond. Regan’s assertion also does a discredit to Duncan Fraser and Aberdeen supporters.

Let’s turn our attention to the Rangers argument. As Charles Green refused to engage with the LNS commission, did the Incorrigible Campbell Ogilvie, who puts the C in Compromised, present David Murray’s defence? McKenzie’s second e-mail in Appendix 2b is instructive:

Rangers argued that since the FTT had held that the benefits under the EBT scheme were not taxable emoluments and since the loans paid to Players were paid by the sub-trusts and not by the Club then the EBT details applying to each Player were not required to be disclosed and Rangers had been right to consider them as not being requiring of disclosure.”

Duncan Fraser is correct in his contention that the findings of FTT unduly influenced  the LNS Commission. The Supreme Court has ruled that the EBT scheme operated by Rangers was Disguised Remuneration. The Rangers’ argument is fatally flawed.

Nimmo Smith’s finding that EBT did not confer a competitive advantage is an abomination. This conclusion was not his to give. His remit had been narrowed down to registration irregulaties.

Did Regan insist on this LNS finding to put title stripping to bed?

As Duncan Fraser asserted, the conference call did not allow for detailed arguments to be expounded upon face to face. Doncaster designed this fix with expert timing. He did not need an MBA to work out that Eric Riley was on vacation and could be excluded from the mix. Riley would have run with Topping’s assertion that other SPL clubs had been materially disadvantaged by Rangers’ cheating. This argument might have held sway.

In summary, Rangers have never been held to account for not paying their social taxes and enjoying a competitive advantage for so doing. In other less compromised associations King, both Murray’s and Johnston would be banned sine die. Rangers would have their licence withdrawn. If Doncaster wishes to push continuation will he do the right thing and suspend Rangers Lite?

Topping gave the impression in his Scotsman article that the SPFL would circle the wagons to protect the findings of the LNS Commission. However one cannot defend a position that is built on sand.

The review, be it led by Celtic, Celtic Quick News or this site, will be far reaching. Rangers cheated. Titles must be stripped. Regan and Doncaster must also be dismissed.

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26 thoughts on “The Discredited LNS Commission”

  1. JJ, We have all read and read until the sheep come home BUT what do we do about it? Regan and Doncaster are just playing with time hoping that it will all just “Go Away”. We cannot allow that to happen. We need guidance from somewhere to get the ball rolling but where will it come from? Is it down to Peter Lawell to throw the first stone , if so it needs to happen soon.

    1. The momentum is growing. The Supreme Court decision was a game changer. I am not in the habit of blowing my own trumpet but my exclusive revelations in two articles have moved the goal posts. We are now playing 5 aside, with Desmond, Lawwell, Brennan, Forrest and James on one side, with Regan, Doncaster, Bryson, Johnston and McKenzie in opposition. It is as one-sided as Celtic v the bigots without the ferry fare.

      1. JJ,

        appreciate you comment .. and you are the go-to site on this.

        However, the question remains .. What we going to do about this?

        What can ordinary fans do when the powers that be don’t listen?

        As a Celtic supporter, I’m disappointed in the response from my club.

        Like many, I’ve sat back impatiently waiting on due process and the Supreme Court ruling and I’m pleased that Celtic have at last made a comment.

        But colour me cynical, part of me thinks that Celtic commented because they had to. Not because they actually want to sink their teeth into this corruption and that makes me wonder why,

        Faithful through and through .. no chance .. Faithful until you’ve shown your true colours or lack of them. No more following blindly.

        Celtic’s comments are not enough. We need actions.

        Rangers systematically cheated for over a decade. The titles won in that time should be stripped. There should be no question of that.

        Why do we even need ask for a review? If this was the EPL the press would be all over it, the guilty shamed and restorative action taken.

        But doesn’t look like that’s going to happen.

        It shouldn’t need the fans to take actions, Celtic should take whatever legal action necessary to enforce the titles to be stripped.

        DB

      2. Be patient DB. If Celtic don’t pick up the baton, others will. I believe CQN will take this to judicial review. If not I will crowdfund it and lead the charge if my safety can be assured. This will not stand. I do not just write. I act.

  2. Mr McKenzie’s assertion that players COULD be paid via a “3rd party” loan or not is wrong and also against the UEFA rules. They ALL got caught ‘RED HANDED’ cheating and should take responsibility for it so we all can move on. Bankrupt The SFA

  3. ID: 3500-4855-4141-xxx

    An excellent set of articles recently! The first thing that struck me from this article is that the SFA set up this ‘independent’ panel, yet Regan was on the panel, so the first lie is that the panel was ‘independent’! The first lie of many……..

  4. JJ Impressive stuff. Donation made. Please confirm receipt.

    JJ: Received with my undying gratitude. Cheers buddy,

  5. JJ,
    Your outstanding work on exposing the skullduggery cannot pass without the conspirators suffering the ultimate penalty.
    Given your excellent input over the period, what in your valued opinion would be the most efficient way of bringing them to task allowing the fans to make a major impact – Crowdfunding of a QC or?
    They really cannot be allowed to get off the hook in this.
    I am sure many supporters would be willing to stump up to make sure a level playing field is established for the good of all supporters of all clubs.
    Don’t let your outstanding work fall at final hurdle.
    Donation on way.

  6. PayPal no.8y99496v334xxxx
    Hi jj
    Hope you received my small donation,wish I could’ve gave you a bit more,it’s well deserved for all your troubles,best wishes to you and your own

    JJ: Yes I did thank you. If one gives what one can my gratitude is assured.

  7. There really isn’t enough paranoia to go round.Your last two articles serve to highlight the extent of the collusion by the SFA/SPFL in their attempts to both corruptly restrict and limit the action and damages against Rangers.
    If Dermot Desmond has the willingness to say enough is enough then there may be some hope of obtaining justice from this omnishambles.
    Wee Fergus would have all their guts for garters and would take great delight in doing so.
    Words fail me in trying to describe the abysmal failure of the SMSM in dealing with this epic corruption scandal at the heart of Scotland’s major sport.
    Unfortunately I’m not holding my breath for a positive outcome.

  8. Dynamite stuff JJ, hope you have even more e-mails like this so you can keep up the pressure. Lawwell now needs to reach out to CFC supporters which I hope would encorage supporters of other teams to become more involved.

  9. Can anyone point me to the SPL or SFA rules in place in the years 2001 2010 which demonstrate Rangers assertion that they were not required to disclose payments from 3rd parties?
    This assertion was almost made at various points in evidence given at the FTT.
    Also, did the LNS remit include the 5 EBTs which Rangers admitted were taxable? It did not include DOS payments we know that. However by a single review of DOS together with the 5 EBTs for Barrow, Furness, Doncaster, Inverness, Selby there are enough games accumulated at a 3-0 loss to materially impact the claim RFC have to those titles in these years. RFC may well have the same defence in these cases – I.e. that they didn’t think they were payments that required to be shared with the SFA. I am unsure if the football bodies in Scotland consider Ignorantia juris non excusat.
    Sandy Bryson seemed au fait with liberal use of this in his interpretation of registration. Certainly, the FTT judgement statements of fact relay that RFC went to some lengths to conceal side contracts.
    As a side note it may be helpful if the football bodies in the UK where legally required to share the contract info they hold with HMRC. Much the same as other agencies work together e.g. DVLA and insurers.

    1. I think I’m correct in saying that Rangers were in fact asked pointedly about side letters/dual contract and DENIED their existence.

  10. Your articles over the past week have been utterly stunning and you continue to raise your very high bar.

    Real exclusives and material which surely must be a game changer.

    You have led the pack from day one on the biggest scandal in Scottish sporting history. This narrative has shamefully been ignored by the pitiful award winning Scottish journalists.

    You put them to shame.

    Chapeau.

  11. Some mighty fine journalism yet again JJ. The look on some of these charlatans faces as they read your work, which they no doubt do, would be an utter joy to witness.
    Donation made mate.

  12. An additional recurring contribution set up today in appreciation of your relentless pursuit of those who have thought they can pervert the course of justice. The custodians of our national game are not fit for purpose and we are indebted to you and others that will not accept their corruption.
    Payment reference 7JW71450VL219xxxx

    JJ: Thank you.

  13. When brechin city were kicked out of the Scottish cup for breaking player registration rules the hamilton accies manager biĺly Reid said and I quote ” I feel sorry for brechin but rules are rules”
    The “rules are rules” rule doesn’t apply when it is rangers who are breaking the rules.

  14. Been following your site for a while JJ…not always sharing the same opinion on some subjects but always respectful for your integrity and in presenting the highest quality in both content and composition.
    Your articles over the last week or so have been truly outstanding to the extent that I felt compelled to make an additional ad hoc contribution yesterday.
    I’d say to all lurkers with either an interest in what is unfolding here and/or aware of JJ’s circumstances and sacrifice…DO THE RIGHT THING
    To all MSM “pseudo journalists” – hang your heads in collective shame;- try if you will to recollect your influences, your initial venture into the Industry and what dreams and aspirations you held. Then consider that your professional legacy will be defined by this period for as long as Scottish Football endures.

  15. Just echoing the feelings of many supporters of fair play on here . What can we, the grass roots fans do to bring these SFA imposters to task for their years of skullduggery .
    Wee Fergus would have sorted them out in jig time.
    Keep up the pressure JJ we`re all with you.
    Small donation made . #stripthetitles.

  16. Hi JJ,
    Sorry for the late contribution again this month but just got out of hospital but for once there is good news on the health front.The ID code for my paypal transaction is ID:90D10885PB257xxxx,could you please confirm receipt your end.
    I think(hope) perhaps that Celtic may have given these cheats enough rope to hang themselves by excluding Eric Riley from their devious plan by executing the same whilst he was on holiday.
    Just one question,if I may,which one of them goes by the name of Baldrick ?
    As ever,stay safe my friend,

    JJ: Received with my undying gratitude. The one and only contribution I awoke to today. I guess the game last night kept donations at bay.

  17. Hi JJ

    First, your output in last two weeks has been fantastic and very thorough. Thanks to the kindliness of strangers I had a short sojourn in sunnier climes, but I have arrived back in the UK and can now communicate.

    I have messaged you before regards SFA committee members. Further to that I have the following.

    There are a number of these “members” who are more than acutely aware that they should have “wiped the floor” with Rangers back in 2012, rode the wave of hate and let it all fizzle out in order that we could all “move on”. Some were scared of the loss of any form of Rangers and the mythical “blue pound”. Others were happy to sit back and let it roll as they still harboured fantasies of they themselves ascending the marble staircase.

    Back then there were threats, all of these main committee guys were briefed on security of their homes, families and businesses. Yet still some were prepared to step up to the plate.

    Others wanted to hide behind Celtic. They wanted it to become an Old Firm tug of war, they could then hide behind Celtic and say how they felt as all the incoming flak would go towards the pesky Tims and they would, in the main, escape further scrutiny from the baying hoards of incensed Rangers fans.

    The problem now is that it is too late for most of them. The pathetic wretch that is Regan and the grinning buffoon Doncaster have to brass neck this shit storm to the death. In any other society they could well face criminal charges or, at the very least, a visit from plod regards what clearly points towards conspiracy to defraud, allegedly?

    I have stated before any court cases started that the investigation was set up to fail as the truth would bring down more than just the tattered reputation of a dead football club. Knighthoods, chairmanships, jobs and a whole plethora of positions in society and business were, and still are, at stake. It is my contention that the police investigation was a smokescreen to placate the idiots who part with their cash at Ibrox whilst protecting the real “criminals”.

    The problem now is that Celtic have only tentatively dipped their toe into the public swamp regards the EBT and DOS years. Privately they are crunching the numbers and the legal eagles are preparing to strike.

    The others involved, on both sides, are further briefed that the lunatic fringe of 2012 have grown in number to the degree that anyone who sticks his or her head above the parapet will be fair game for all of these nut cases. Maniacs who have been nurtured with lies by the media for five years in order to take their money and in a desperate attempt to stop the Tims.

    The survival myth, the victim myth, the back where we belong crap. All of this means that there are grown men and women on the committees of Scottish Football who know what should be done but absolutely won’t do it due to the threat to their safety and to the safety of their families. Again, they have all been briefed on this. The police will not be able to prevent the maniacs from seeking their revenge on any perceived “haters”. It doesn’t help that most of the local constabulary have any of “1872 1873 1972 FTP 1690 RFC GSTQ” in their work passwords.

    In short, they are all shitting themselves and they absolutely 100% wish “we could all just move on”. Not because they don’t want to apply their rules to redress the wrongs, but that it is ten times worse now than it would have been five years ago. “Not worth the hassle” is a phrase I have heard from one of them. Others have been much more explicit but will simply not go on record. “I’ve got children and grandchildren and this is supposed to be about bloody football. All of a sudden we all have to be f**king lawyers and tax accountants who can’t open their mail! F**k that!”.

    This will end up as a Celtic v Rangers “fight” and the fact that cheating took place will be lost as the media revel in increased sales as they stir it to further incense the mentally unhinged “element” in the Rangers support.

    The only thing that can happen is that new Rangers go bust. That way the authority committee members can wipe their brow. The only subsequent problem is that a sneaky rule change means that a “spfl committee” can decide the fate of a defunct member. It won’t go to a vote. It will be decided by a few, potentially conflicted (corrupt?), individuals who would vote third Rangers back to 3rd in the top division at the drop of a bowler hat.

    JJ should you decide to use any of this can you perhaps take my name from it. Your blog is read by all of these guys who fear what the next revelation will be. Not for me but as I told you before a family member is close to the action.

    Further donation to come on pay day

    Stay safe

  18. The window for title stripping is slowly closing and will probably be completely closed in about three months. The pressure has to be inexorable and sustained over the nest few weeks .

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