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.

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.


A judicial review is imminent.



40 thoughts on “Crime Pays At The SPFL”

  1. Solicitors are being consulted. There will be a crowdfunded Judicial review. I refer readers to the Twitter feed RangersTaxCase.

    1. Such a review will only look at the process that was followed. I believe it cannot and will not change the outcome.
      The SPFLs whole point is they followed a process and the process is at an end.
      The point that should be focussed on is the process was flawed. New evidence has arisen (EBTs are illegal) and that not all evidence was included (e.g. DOS).
      But I cannot see a judicial review adding anything.
      Tough for Celtic now as FIFA and UEFA don’t like clubs going to the law outside of football. CAS would have been the best route in my view. Also an appeal to UEFA directly sing clubs who lost to old Rangers in European competition.
      The SPFL are effectively saying we know they did wrong but our process prevents us from punishing them. As I said before they are hiding behind management speak and do not have the leaders to make the right decision.

      1. UEFA should be involved in the review which the 5 Way Agreement has to be part of as it is the manifestation of the process undertaken when RFC went bust.

        The reason is that The 5 Way violates UEFA Value One of UEFA’s 11 Values (and more) and can opine the part of the 5 Way uses the SPFL definition of a club into two parts (a change introduced in 2005) in a way that conflicts with UEFA Article 12 and 45 of UEFA FFP and introduces moral hazard.

        Whilst TRFC and RIFC might comply if they meet Art45 requirements it’s doubtful RFC ever had a construct of Club and operating company as UEFA define it.

        Apart from which UEFA would be seen as an independent knowledgeable adviser fighting on the sport integrity side to uphold Value One. Check them out.

  2. Regardless of SPFL and SFA rules, all Scottish football is governed under Scots and UK law.

    Wrongdoing, whether by a plc, a limited company, councils, the police, the NHS,…. is all scrutinised in court against the law.

    Imagine an NHS hospital telling you sorry for cutting off your good leg but we followed our rules and now we’re going to learn and improve. You take that to court, get people disciplined, thrown out the profession, and achieve compensation.

    Rangers EBTs were unlawful. It follows any benefits they acquired from the use of EBTs are similarly unlawful. That includes Sporting Advantage and winning trophies.

    Celtic must criticise the SPFL position and their review of what they could improve for the future and must now go to court.

    A review of how the SPFL manages tax evading clubs isn’t good enough. Calling it an INDEPENDENT review whereby the SFA and spfl craft the terms of reference a la Nimmo Smith is a thinly veiled piss take. Giving Nimmo Smith the work will be a public piss take.

  3. So BBCs Chris McLaughlan was bang on the money on Monday. There will be no title stripping or action against Rangers but there will be a Review.

    So he knew on Monday, so Budge lied whilst in the car park stating the board had just met and no decision had been taken.

    Budge is a liar to fans.

  4. I though what was required is that the SFA/SPFL apply their own rules regarding improperly registered players. Can they not legally apply their own rules? Ludicrous.

  5. Your evisceration of these corrupt People is fully merited. The question is what options are available to fight them and this sham? This is ultimate proof Scotland is a parochial back water of backwardness and funny handshakes. I’m not a Celtic fan but surely they have to come off the fence? A shameful day.

  6. As expected!

    Btw as an quick aside i Thought AB has more to her than buying in to this BS from these charlatans

    Several key takeaways in my opinion ..sorry for length of post !

    1 legal advice is entirely built on the content and quality of the Instructions to the QC . I have been aware of many Situations where instructions are constructed to get a pre conceived advice outcome
    That will almost certainly have happened here and also with the recent SFA statement
    Publish the instructions transparently you shower!

    2 the post LNS agreement and the 5 way are almost certainly what you would call illegal agreements
    Last time I checked A contract killing is an illegal agreement so is an agreement to indemnify someone against them committing a crime.
    An illegal agreement would NOT stand up in a proper court of law
    You can not prejudice against the law of the land or rules being upheld . The two agreements are absolute nonsense

    3 the authorities are thus using 2 very flaky legal fig leaves claiming them to be bona fide legal artifices to defend themselves when they are no such thing ..they are doing it because they know they control the media and that they the media and the TRFC fans will leap on this BS as the de facto facts of the matter and claim victory
    4 all brave talk of crowd funding demands for independent reviews etc need to be thought through and be much more considered . Picking a major legal fight and being sure you can win it is a really serious consideration and will involve a lot of determinations and legal advice in advance before ordinary folks start throwing cash at anything
    Fans even very well healed ones need to ensure they don’t do a ‘ Don Quixote ‘ here and embark on a long expensive and ultimately totally wasted journey

    5. Regan and Doncaster and the Masonic core at Hampden ,(who are almost certainly up to their corrupt necks all the way back to knowing full well registration by registration that Rangers players on peppercorn wages were being illegally paid on the side ) have today effectively said to CFC ..ok if you want to fix this then you do it ..we ain’t ..and oh by the way you will take all the mega heat

    6 this sadly was always going to be about CFC and as per the movie High Noon the sherrif a good guy and is he going to fight the baddies ? or is he going to cave in and let them take it out on him ?Rangers and the SFA have done here and with it with desperate long term consequences for everyone

    7 the Scottish government ..what to say about them??? The civil servants SHOULD be providing a paper to ministers and ultimately the FM to take this out of the hands of these two conflicted organisation. This is without doubt the biggest scandal ever in uk sport and this cover up makes it even worse . They should be the ones to force an independent review .

    8 it is clear that the pseudo military wing of the Rangers fan base have disproportionately powerful influence over life inScotland . if SR and many others and the media are behaving they way they are fundamentally out of fear of retribution Scotland has a major major issue which is why the SG probably need to act here

    Regan and Doncaster think they have successfully ,with highly obfuscated legalese , booted this scandal into the long grass forever ..
    I think not . They have alienated too many people here .the reality is this has a long way to run ..if this was Watergate we would be at the point where we have just learned about the presidents tapes .
    Like Hillsborough though this will I fear take a very long time to get justice

    Oh for the quality of media in England !

    1. Thank you JJ, this is the high quality well researched response that we have come to expect from you. And it more than make up for yesterday’s rant.

    1. Well what is she then?

      Weak? Hopeless? As corrupt as the rest?

      You’re defending someone who most people had hoped had more integrity than she has shown so far.

      Oh yeah and I’ve worked with Newell and Budge back in the day and have met Ms Budge on a number of occasions.

      She’s a smart cookie but that counts for nothing.

      She had the opportunity to speak up but her silence condones the matter.

      She’s now party to the corruption in Scottish Football.

      Yep, weak, hopeless and as corrupt as the rest.

  7. If the SFA and/or SPFL have neither the means nor will to take action against clubs under their jurisdiction then it seems fair to question why these bodies exist at all? They organise competitions. Great. A ten year old with a rudimentary grasp of Excel could create the fixture lists in a morning and assign match officials at lunchtime. That’s the SPFL’s job done. The same kid could knock out the cup draws at playtime. That’s the SFA’s job done apart from the national team. The national team involves flight and hotel bookings for Euro and WC qualifiers. Outsource to a travel agent and leave the travel agent to sort out training facilities as specified by the team manager.
    What more does the SFA & SPFL actually do?

  8. Finger trouble there….

    Doncaster and Regan have recorded a song.. Kings of Hampden… their band supplemented by Budge, Topping etc will be called the HUN LOVING CRIMINALS.

    Fan power, boycotts at the away grounds, boycotts of the betting companies, Sky, BT Sports etc, hit them where it hurts.

    Let’s stir up some agitators at European clubs who suffered due to the EBTs etc.

    I don’t normally post as you well know JJ, but this has to be fought… no matter where folks are, that love their football and to fight for what is right.
    The Ibrox clubs will be hated even more, but really that’s what makes those reprobates tick.

  9. Rangers fc were not charged under the rules of SPFL of gaining Sporting Advantage from an illegal tax arrangement proven in court.

    This would be a new charge.

    1. Only if it were the same Rangers club. But the SPFL are saying a new club “bought” the history.

      In fact, as Sevco are a new club, the SPFL have not brought any charges against Sevco yet.

  10. Didn’t both Livingston and QOS have 3-0 reversed result against them for fielding ineligble players?, Didn’t Livinston cop a fine for non payment of Tax?.
    Funny how in 2012 the SPL changed it’s name, Avoidence of tax was no longer against the rules, Airdrionians were allowed to use their name again and correct Player registrations didn’t matter anymore… Could all just be a coincidence though.

  11. Jj Pay pal confirmation no 9EY61061CG105****
    The fix is definitely in
    These guys in charge aren’t even good at lying
    Let’s make sure between us they are removed from any position of authority as they are incompetent cheating fools

    If anyone from Green Brigade is reading . Tonight’ would have been a perfect night to get message across to the hierarchy in Scottish football that we won’t go away .Please unite with the club & all celtic supporters at this vital time we need to be unified to win
    & this battle is a important as any we’ve faced on the pitch

    JJ: Great effort again GB. Thanks for addressing the funding shortfall.

    1. Spot on no probs with greene brigade or their posters but unfortunately the corrupt officials ….

      JJ: Could you please provide a Paypal confirmation number.

  12. i agree with most of what you say and have though hard about attending football again this season . i only write this that topping has nothing to do with st johnstone so i would hate to think they would the blame.

    JJ: Could you please provide a Paypal confirmation number.

  13. Ogilvie is the key to open the door to corruption
    If the SPFL and the SFA want to use lawyers and QCs and try to convince us that the actions they took are in based Law and are backed up by exampples of juridiction litigation or whatever else bullshit they stick on it to fool us, then if that is the case every registration sent from Ibrox was forged to hide payments and this is criminal. The fact they had the SFA also someone on their board who was in on the scheme and was paid from the well of corruption is the reason why this case is no longer an association boys club rule, this is a criminal offence in that it was a deception known by an affliated employee. Failure to report a scam is punishable as it is to the detriment of the SFA shareholders and paying customers.

  14. JJ, Have changed bank accounts, therefore my recurring payment will likely be mid-month rather than early next week.
    The bare-faced cheek of SFA/SPFL knows no bounds when it comes to all things “rangers”. Any “independent” review should be just that. Let the football authorities from, say, England nominate their own Compliance section to co-ordinate and conduct a truly “independent” overview of the goings on and core machinations of both authorities and let the Scottish government publicly review the results. If this is not a goer, can you organise a crowd-funded legal challenge. I would gladly weigh in with a contribution, as would most hacked off football fans who visit and/or read your offerings. The key for you my friend is to remain safe from those who seek to harm you.

  15. A day that will live in infamy. It is now time t get down and dirty. We passed angry and frustrated many months ago.

    JJ, coud you or your readers once again help me with Paypal? I want to make a payment additional to my regular monthly contribution. I’ve done this once before but I’m damned if I can remember how I did it. It’s an age thing. 74 and counting!

  16. I really do not now see a happy ending for those who, rightly, would like to see justice done. That includes title stripping for prizes gained whilst having an unfair advantage.

    The shameful Scottish press barely give it a mention (the dullard Graham Spiers reports that the title stripping debate is ‘boring’). This lot of Scottish journalists missed THE biggest scandal ever to hit Scottish sport. Spiers as ever misses the point. It’s not about title stripping per se. It’s about the integrity of the game and governance of the sport. This important point is, apparently, not worthy of column inches in the Scottish press. The Scottish press has played a very important role in keeping this whole narrative as a hushed item. CW was the baddie and Big Mike was a bad ‘un for a while. The REAL villains here, SDM, Dave King, Alastair Johnston, Paul Murray, Martin Bain plus others with their hands in the till, Walter Smith and McCoist, barely get a mention. And of course the collusion with the governing bodies at Hampden seems to be, reporting wise, strictly off limits.

    A fan boycott would indeed have an impact, but that seems unlikely. As you correctly point out, the EPL doesn’t actually NEED fans to turn up. Clubs could play in front of an empty house and the SKY windfall would keep them going. Not so in Scotland where the product is so appalling, that potential sponsors represent a truffle hunt.

    Nearly thirty years ago, we had THE greatest UK sporting scandal in my lifetime. In April, 1989, 96 Liverpool supporters died at Hillsborough in Sheffield. 766 were injured. There was a massive cover up by South Yorkshire Police and collusion with Westminster. People had died trying to watch a game of footie and the authorities at the time bent over backwards to blame the fans.

    It was a shameful attempt at a cover up.

    BUT, the families who lost loved ones never gave up and pursued justice. Thirty years is a long time to be in pursuit of justice. And, thankfully, finally, they have made some headway. Six people have been charged with various serious charges; manslaughter by gross negligence, misconduct in public office and perverting the course of justice.

    This case involved politicians, an army of lawyers and the equivalent of crowdfunding by bereaved families and friends. It involved an event marked by a massive loss of life and a subsequent cover up. It was a well organised and coordinated campaign in the search for the truth. And thirty years on, they may now see justice being done.

    Well done to them.

    The Rangers narrative involving cheating bears no comparison to the loss of life. Not at all. But, I fear that the title stripping story is now coming to an end. The compliant Scottish press now dismiss it and when leading officers such as Milne and Budge talk about ‘moving on’, well, I think that this is precisely what will now happen.

    You, in particular, have set the bar high in search of sporting integrity. But the governing authorities and supported by member clubs have shown scant interest and in some cases have dismissed the views of their very own fans entirely.

    This has turned out to be a shameful narrative in the history of Scottish sport.

    1. TM, a judicial review is imminent. This is not the end. It’s the beginning of the end for the fatally compromised. Tomorrow I will use every last scintilla of my training as an analyst to take a critical look at this decision and their rationale for the conclusions. My approach will be measured. I will as ever not be pulling my punches.

      1. I read that also and was thrilled. The offer by the SPFL to conduct a review into the handling smacks of the two cheeks wiping their own erse. It needs to be thoroughly independent ESPECIALLY the scope of it. Hopefully the blogosphere pulls together on this and engages supporter groups to lead it. I’d like to see as a starting point potential injured parties (Celtic FC, Hearts, etc) lodge data protection requests and make the information provided available. I’d like to see BDO do the same in their capacity for oldco. If creditors lost out due to corruption there’s a claim there against the SFA.

  17. On listening to Doncaster and Topping on Sky Sports and their call for an independent review I’m reminded of the words of John Donne…
    “Never send to know for whom the bell tolls; IT TOLLS FOR THEE”

  18. So if the 5 Way Agreement was not signed by Charles Green then it is indeed possible for Rangers Plc to be penalised for their crimes and the SPFL by there “No possibility of re visiting the subject ” are trying to bluff it out?

  19. JJ
    I’ve contributed twice with what I feel is a decent amount this month after admittedly lurking for a while.
    I really don’t want to post numbers as our work email was hacked then it all got linked to our own emails but I can email you PayPal details privately if need be. Just email me. Last contribution Monday evening just before 6pm.

    Doncaster’s statement is utterly predictable. Utter weasel. Employed by weasels.

    I understand your anger, and the rant style of your post. For my part I’m just utterly despondent and not a bit surprised.
    Milne is an arse but it’s not a surprise. The Aberdeen fans will be all over this and Duncan Fraser and George Yule will know this. They will need tin hats on big time.
    Budge is a real disappointment. I thought she may have been made of sterner stuff. I won’t be contributing to her new stand anytime soon and I love a trip to Tynecastle.

    The hole being dug by these people who administer our game just gets deeper and deeper.

    I admire your determination along with others and I would contribute to a crowd fund if it was looking like a goer. Let’s face it, I’m now saving £20 straight away and more by no longer asking for a ticket for the Ross County v Aberdeen game coming up soon so that’s a start.

    I will email my club with my thoughts this evening.

    I always giggle at the rules and regs and how they are administered and applied in this country.
    I’ve been involved with amateur teams who got points deducted for an honest mistake giving the wrong address on a team line FFS? No honest mistakes with oldco. Just cheating.

    The people who run our game and clubs have swerved, lied, deflected and have now circled the wagons but it won’t work. They have all met behind closed doors and decided to lie to the paying public. Do they think we are all thick as f**?

    Along with your posts you also have some excellent contributors.

    Keep it up and well done.


  20. First time poster, been following your work for a while, and my small donation is long overdue, the quality of your is exceptional, and totally agree that a crowd funded independent review into the corrupt bstds at Hampden has got to be the starting point, momentum cannot be lost now, boycotting all away games at Hearts, Aberdeen and every home and away fixtures in the cup’s would get my full support…
    Transaction id

  21. oi moynihan QC yer two mixed up QC mates at the first tier tax tribunal kenny rae and scotti mure clearly got their wigs in a twist and were wrong, it took a non QC the heroine heidi to get it right,

    you wanna have another go at this farcical ‘ thing’ you have come up with…………. for QC read Queer Concoctions………………

  22. I see Topping is now quoted as saying there will be an enquiry to ensure “This does not happen again” – See what they did there? 🙂 No mention of dealing with the crime itself, simply that they will have an enquiry and will obviously then adopt that enquirys recommendations. So when RFC commit a crime and get found out, the SPFL and SFA will eventually investigate and then ensure that no one else is allowed to do that! 🙂

  23. Fantastic reading since I discovered your site in February from a long term unwaged lurker. Now waged and small monthly donation recurring, long overdue but far better than anything I read in the press. Stunning journalism at it’s very best. Donation number 44795714UE7873xxxx Thanks.

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