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
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.
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
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.
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.