Sir Bribe & Lie

Sir David Murray is the son of a convicted tax-evader. A tax-evader who concealed earnings from two racehorses that he owned. He was sentenced to eighteen months imprisonment.

Sir David Murray paid a one million dollar bribe, in addition to the six million pounds official price, to secure a controlling interest in Rangers FC. The bribe was delivered in a suitcase. The courier was a trusted senior executive in Murray Metals. The recipient was Lawrence Marlborough.

These facts are incontrovertible. When Ayr United FC spurned Murray’s overtures they were fully aware of the sins of his father. One would not be surprised if they took the view that the apple had not fallen far from the tree.

Would you like an honorary degree with your £6.3m EBT, Sir David?”

When Murray Metals metamorphosed into Murray International Holdings, David Murray ran up debts of £942,000,000. Despite being the son of a Roman Catholic mother, Murray was accepted by the Edinburgh Establishment and taken under the wing of Sir Angus Grossart who had so many fingers in establishment pies that a thimble might have come in handy. Murray’s Edinburgh contacts are pulling strings on his behalf, no doubt for a taste, in a new Edinburgh Village of 1300 homes in green belt land adjacent to the RBS HQ in Gogarburn. RBS, unsurprisingly given the influence of their former vice-chairman Grossart, are supportive of the scheme.

Murray was never the sharpest tool in his private school’s box. However he had a flair for networking and a penchant for flattery. If you met him face to face he would inquire whether you had a ‘bit on the side.‘ Those who saw this as a portal to gaining his confidence soon learned that the information that they had imparted could be used against them. Murray deployed more that succulent lamb to control the SMSM.

If he had not controlled the narrative and had a former police superintendent on his payroll he would have been sent down just like his father. The odious Gordon Brown ennobled him for services to business. Services that included racking up losses at Rangers to the tune of £175m in one business year. Murray even had the clout to make a good fist of putting Celtic out of business. Despite the fact that Celtic were a far better run club than Rangers, the Bank of Scotland, at Murray’s behest, called in their overdraft. Had it not been for the eleventh hour intervention of Fergus McCann, Murray’s Rangers would have had a clear field.

Having achieved Nine-In-A-Row by obscene financial doping, and having narrowly failed to put Celtic out of business, Murray pursued other avenues to give his calling card of a club an edge. He engaged in aggressive tax-avoidance schemes. The ones that we know about, DOS and EBT, were both illegal. Murray paid 63 players and 24 others off the books. When Walter Smith was at Everton, his purchase of players for top dollar from Rangers was rewarded with an EBT gratuity. This was also the case with Graeme Souness. Once you had accepted Murray’s EBT largesse he had a hold over you. When Campbell Ogilvie pocketed a £95,000 EBT severance payment he knew full well that he was supping with the devil.

The following Rangers EBT timeline is instructive:
2000: Rangers begin making payments through an Employee Benefit Trust (EBT), which was set up by major shareholder Murray International Holdings (MIH).

2010: April 27 – Rangers confirm they are under investigation by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) over offshore payments to players from 2001. Rangers say they will “robustly” defend the case on the basis of expert tax advice.

2012: January 18 – A three-day first tier tax tribunal closes in Edinburgh, following earlier hearings to determine whether Rangers are guilty of tax evasion through EBTs.

March 2 – The Scottish Football Association confirm they will investigate claims made by former Rangers director Hugh Adam that payments made to players were not disclosed to the governing body.

March 5 – The Scottish Premier League confirm that their board have instigated an investigation into the alleged non-disclosure of payments made to players by Rangers, which prompts the SFA to drop their case.

May 23 – A BBC documentary team claims 63 Rangers players and 24 staff members received EBT payments and says 53 of them were provided with “side letters” detailing the structure of payments.

May 31 – Rangers’ administrators Duff and Phelps provide files requested by the SPL in their investigation into undisclosed payments.

June 14 – Oldco Rangers are formally consigned to liquidation after HMRC reject a Company Voluntary Arrangement proposal. Charles Green’s Sevco Scotland company buy a basket of assets.

August 2 – The SPL appoints an independent commission to probe the contentious payments.

August 6 – Murray denies cheating took place during his stewardship.

September 10 – Sevco Scotland (Rangers Lite) announce they will refuse to attend a scheduled hearing of the SPL-appointed commission.

November 20 – Rangers win their appeal in principle against a tax bill – the so-called ‘big tax case’ – for use of EBTs.

2013: January 29 – The commission begins hearing evidence with Rangers sending legal representation.

January 31 – The  SPL concludes its hearing into allegations of undisclosed payments with a written decision to come.

February 28 – Rangers Lite ( who agreed to accept sanctions applicable to the former club in the five way agreement) are handed a fine of £250,000 for breaching rules over disclosing payments but the new club, which was conferred with titles won by the former club, avoids being stripped of titles after the commission finds they obtained no sporting advantage.

July 7 2017. The Supreme Court finds for HMRC in Rangers EBT case. 


Note how Murray when caught bang to rights admits no wrongdoing and shows no remorse. Two fully equipped and fully staffed hospitals could have been established had Murray paid the taxes that were due. Murray helped himself to a £6.3m EBT.

Murray is a fucking rogue, yet quite incredibly he is still feted by the Edinburgh establishment. Would you buy a house from Murray? If you do you will feather the nest of a man who singlehandedly assassinated sporting integrity and ransacked Scottish football for more than two decades.

So how did Murray get away with it for so long? He also had friends in high places in Glasgow. No more so than Campbell Ogilvie and Stewart Regan. Ogilvie’s £95,000 EBT  put him at the disposal of Murray. However Murray also had a hold over Regan. Was the latter bribed to look the other way. Was Regan slipped some complimentary tickets for a test match at Lord’s over a slap-up meal at Hotel Du Vin?

Or could it be as simple as all the estimable Lords offering legal advice to the SFA being in some way indebted to or influenced by Sir David Murray?

Prior to Regan’s dismissal – he will be paid his one year’s notice in full – he went on the offensive with Yuanker Traynor’s new lickspittle, Gary Ralston. Keith Jackson has grown tired of publishing Yuanker’s fake news.

The audacity of Regan in the following Q&A truly beggars belief. There are many takeaways but I will highlight only one in bold red italic typeface for further consideration:

Q: What do you have to hide by refusing Celtic’s request, via the SPFL board and on behalf of all 42 league clubs, for an independent review?

S.R: The decision has been taken as a board and having considered all the facts on the table. Since 2011 the board have relied heavily on advice from four QCs and three law lords, supporting us on that journey. We also have two independent directors on our board. Independence has been at its heart and we feel there is enough belief around our board that the decisions have been made with the best interests of Scottish football at heart.

Q: So there’s no appetite in the game for a full review?

S.R: Other than one, we haven’t had a single member asking for this to be undertaken. The fact we have put in place such an independent process since 2011, including independent directors on our board, has significantly moved on the decision making since before I came to Scotland when it was old fashioned committees.

We are in a very different place now. Four QC’s, three law lords, significant amount of financial and legal investment, scrutiny at every step of the way. We have got to the end of the process in our mind. We have made decisions on all the key areas and the one area we feel is still in need of further consideration is from comments made in the Craig Whyte trial relating to the (UEFA) licensing decision of 2011. That has been referred to the compliance officer and is now a live case.

Q: Do you suspect we will never draw a line under this?

S.R: It would be really difficult to convince those who believe in conspiracies there isn’t a conspiracy at play. My pushback to them is do we really think that four QCs, three law lords, all the club execs, all the independent panel members are all part of some huge conspiracy? We have spent too long looking through the rear view mirror and we’ve failed to look at the road ahead.

We have to be able to move on. We won’t get closure in the eyes of some parts of Scottish football – some fans, some stakeholders, won’t ever get closure.

This will be one of those topics that will be talked about for years to come. There isn’t a right or a wrong answer. It’s a judgment call and a group of guys around the boardroom table with independent legal scrutiny have come to the conclusion this is where we draw a line.

Q: How much has been spent on your legal fees?

S.R: Hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Q: Celtic figures would have been on SFA boards at the time decisions were taken in the past?

S.R: Our senior clubs have all been on the various committees and bodies that exist in Scottish football so they have been party to those decisions. And they have also been party to the improvements made.

Q: How many sit on the SFA board and was the decision not to grant an independent review carried by a majority vote or was it unanimous?

S.R: There are eight people on the board and seven were at the meeting. It works through collective responsibility. We don’t publish every decision or score or vote, that’s how boards work.

Q: Are there ramifications for Rangers newco if oldco found guilty of a breach with regards the UEFA license?

S.R: The range of sanctions could – I stress could – be linked with how the five-way agreement comes into play in the future. ( Record Sport understands part of the five way agreement was for Rangers newco to accept liability for issues arising under the jurisdiction of oldco as part of the transfer of SFA membership).

Q: Celtic are asking why there is no review into the Big Tax Case when the SFA are willing to look at the Wee Tax Case?

S.R: We haven’t had any new information raised with us by member clubs. If they have new information or evidence they feels falls into our jurisdiction then we will deal with that.

Q: Are you surprised Celtic haven’t provoked their own investigation via the SPFL?

S.R: Celtic have the ability to do that through their own organisation, if they want to do so.

Q: Celtic’s statement said that if there isn’t an inquiry, it would call into question the SFA’s accountability, transparency and leadership. How do you react?

S.R: We have listened to everybody. That’s not to diminish the points made by Celtic. I have a lot of respect for Peter (Lawwell) and I understand why he’s doing what he’s doing. He has a fiduciary duty to do what is the best interests of Celtic.

Q: Is your relationship with him now damaged?

S.R: I have a great relationship with Peter. We actually sat at the Champions League draw while all these letters were being exchanged. He understands my position. I am acting in the best interests of the game.

Q: Is this really all about title stripping?

S.R: I would actually say Celtic have gone to great lengths in their letters to emphasise it is not about title stripping, it is about process and learning. For some people out there, some stakeholders, groups, fans, maybe title stripping IS at the heart of it. But that matter has been discussed by the SPFL and a line has been drawn under it by the SPFL and they have moved on.

Our board’s opinion is we have had independence all the way. Are we going to have an independent review of an independent review? Where do you draw the line? It has been independent from day one.

Q: Will it ever go away?

S.R: The word that’s been used, ‘closure’? I don’t think it is realistic, I don’t think it is something people will ever be happy with. There are those who want an outcome that can’t be delivered. We’ve gone as far as we can.

Q: Was any part of SFA’s board’s decision-making informed by what might happen if you granted a full review into Rangers EBTs? You can only assume they might want other historic issues addressed?

S.R: That’s not how boards work. Boards deal in facts and information and advice. We treat all our members in exactly the same way. You cannot consider ‘what if’? There are too many what ifs in Scottish football. You deal in the here and now.

Q: Is your claim to independence compromised by the position of Campbell Ogilvie as SFA president throughout much of this time?

S.R: Campbell made a very clear point of recusing himself from every single decision and discussion relating to Rangers. He stepped outside and wasn’t involved at any time.

Q: How much is this about Celtic, Rangers, EBTs and SFA and how much is this, in reality, a power struggle between the SFA and SPFL?

S.R: We could sit here and second guess the politics behind it. That’s not for me. My job is to try to drive the game forward and focus on all the positives we are dealing with and now allow the past to drag us back.

Q: All this must be wearying, will you consider walking away?

S.R: No.

A panel of seven voted against a review. Let’s assume that Pathetic Petrie, the 5 Way Agreement Gopher, was one of them. McRae would have also indubitably supported Regan. What about Mulraney, Maxwell and the head of the amateur game? Were the non-executive directors, the clue is in their titles, not allowed to vote? Could it have been a 3-3 tie with President McRae given the casting vote?

McRae and Petrie should be tried in the court of public opinion for crimes against Scottish Football.

Sir David Murray should be sent down for much longer than his father. He has never been punished for his circa £50m in tax evasion. It must be those friends in high places wearing blindfolds as they bare nipples and knees. Murray has always been adept at a knuckle shuffle. What’s £50m between brothers?



22 thoughts on “Sir Bribe & Lie”

  1. It makes you wonder what dirt Murray has on the SFA officials,possibly the police and of coarse the complient SMSM as everyone in these organisations just want to move on

    “Corrupt to the core me thinks justice will never be served”

    Logiebhoy 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿😄🇮🇪

  2. Fantastic summary JJ, of the cast involved from the outset to the present position. I have no doubt that Sir Bribe and Lie and the rest mentioned keep an eye on this site. However I just get a vision of S B and L sitting reading this at his desk with a smug smile on his face giving us all the middle finger. Him and his ilk truly believe that they are untouchable. In Scotland, the indulgences of the Edinburgh Establishment comes before business integrity and ethics. The real power sits with them. And when it’s “their own kind” who “independenty review “their own”, we all know what the outcome will be. I actually think their influence has significantly expanded unfettered in Scotland since devolution. At least Westminster provided an over-arching check and balance. Enjoy screwing us over David. Unfortunately I think you will continue to get away with it despite the best efforts of JJ and others.

  3. The fact that SDM isn’t just free to operate rather than be back to the wall in ‘the Bar L’ is galling enough. To know that he is continuing to accumulate wealth (by fair if foul means) is truly sickening.

    I genuinely pity my remaining family who either choose or need to remain in Scotland.

  4. Regan got it wrong on Ogilvie.

    Campbell Ogilvie gave testimony to LNS. He never mentioned the nature of the DOS ebts, by then unlawful, or corrected the report when LNS said he would treat them as continous with them BTCs which at that point were lawful.

     You can see why they want to move on.

    1. There’s also a very valid argument that his position as Chair impacts the independence of any decision made whether he is part of the voting committee or not. Would you vote to anger your boss? Just smoke and mirrors. Powerful stuff JJ.

  5. A terrific piece describing this rogue just perfectly. He had no credibility in the City and was seen as an oaf and a buffoon. He saw Rangers as his very own calling card (his words) and used that calling card to obtain cheap loans and to secure contracts for his various businesses.

    He does indeed read this site and he knows full well that I outed his failing businesses some ten years or so ago. His ‘empire’ was hopelessly mismanaged and the fiscal carnage at Ibrox was his doing. He was the architect of the collapse of Rangers. He merely jumped off the train before it crashed under the control of CW.

    But his control over the press remains to this day and he appears untouchable and beyond criticism in The People’s Democratic Republic of Scotland.

  6. Another excellent article. Keep shining the light! It is a sad indictment of business and commerce in Scotland that SIR David Murray was enobled for his services to business and yet was responsible for this industrial scale tax evasion and has incurred no penalty since then. I expect the planning permission was granted and the SMSM have, as always, adhered to the instruction of a news black out whilst SIR David Murray continues to laugh all the way to the bank with more ill gotten millions. Only in Scotland…..

    1. I think if you trawled hard enough through the archive you’d find a link I posted to an article when the permission was granted. It was out there if not loudly broadcast.

  7. Terrific summary JJ. Reading it, it seems almost unbelievable that such a scandal has occurred.
    During old Rangers 9-in-a-row my father would sometimes ask: Do we support the right team? We keep losing.
    Despite those tough times I am so glad he picked Celtic, like his father before. Not only do we have the Lisbon Lions and our own 9-in-a-row (perhaps 10 to come). But we did it the right way. I would be ashamed to be a Rangers fan today – I genuinely feel very sorry for those genuine Rangers fans who just want to follow their team. Murray et al completely destroyed their club and perhaps the Scottish game.
    The SFA and SPFL have handled this disgracefully and have actually hurt Rangers as well as the whole of Scottish game – despite the problems its even worse that a chance to rebuild with integrity was lost as well. There will never be closure unless the titles are stripped.
    Sadly, I am ashamed of our game now and it has actually spoiled the whole experience of Scottish Football (and all football) for me – that’s an amazing statement given like most wee boys in the 60s all we thought about and dreamed about was football.

  8. There’ll be a lot of berz chanting psalm 95:7 under their breath after reading that.

    I don’t think that Davy will ever face justice, but I think Rangers will face a karma of poor results, false dawns, court cases, financial uncertainty for the same amount of years as he was there.

  9. Gavin Masterton, a BIG friend of David Murray and lender (until Fergus came along) to EVERY SPL team, is fundimental to the ills of our game. I often wonder why that the Aberdeen banker was shot dead on his doorstep, strange case that one.
    At a time when the Taylor report demanded stadium rebuilds/refurbs to conform with the new all seater laws, Murray with his Steel and Masterton with his cash, were coining it in, it was a cartel. If a Scottish club had a player Rangers fancied the teams CEO was invited to Mastertons office to discuss the terms of their loan facilities regarding their stadium refurbs. Rangers usually got their man.
    I twigged it was going Pete Tong when Murray spent more publicising and preparing a £50 Million share option than he took in. He then shifted that Rangers £50 debt into his company and I thought wow, this is going spectacularly pear shaped.
    I live in hope that the whole truth comes out but what we have witnessed over near 25 years now is bare faced fraud and lying, with a media, police, government and judiciary that if not complicit, are scared to front it up.
    Great wee country ma hairy erse.

  10. A fantastic read which summarises the corrupt practices of Sir David and his business empire!
    Like many others I don’t see justice ever prevailing.Only in Scotland!
    You deserve all the praise and plaudits for continuing to bring these matters to as many people’s attention as possible.
    Your book would undoubtedly be a bestseller.

  11. Sickening that this career crook is involved in any enterprise, let alone an enormous housing scheme in the west of Edinburgh. Also sickening that he has not been stripped like Goodwin was. If we had a Scottish republic no doubt this fraudster would have been elected President by The Klan ala Trump in the U.S – another charlatan that screwed banks and evaded tax. Crime pays.

    1. Just a reminder Trev, I have lived in the States for 30 years and the MSM are as bent as the Scottish MSM, Trump was elected by the people to take care of business and outside of the Gagging State(once the Golden State)and New York the people are all happy, so if you don’t reside here you have no stake, I do not vote in Scottish elections as I do not reside there any more, even though I could vote. He wasn’t voted in to be loved and hero worshiped, he was voted in to go ahead and take care of the mess left by both sides of the regular political parties, like him or loathe him he don’t take shit from any of them nor is he beholden to any of them, jut the people where the silent majority make their points at elections. By the way, the Klan was formed by the Democrat Party and the Dems lead the charge for troops to be involved in Vietnam.. The bent media don’t like him as he doesn’t bend down and kiss their arses,and as a voter who is not a member of the Klan it always amuses me on how Scotland (and England)spend more time slagging other countries leaders rather than concentrating on what is going on in their own backyards!!

      Upwards and onward for Killie, hopefully revenge for the 1982 robbery at Pittodrie in the Scottish Cup Quarter final, even Fergie talks about how Strachan needed protection from the Killie players after the match,booed for years any time he showed up at Rugby Park as a player or a manager, Rougvie given “Minder”duties. It still makes the blood boil after all these years

      yours in sport
      Gaun the Killie

      1. Well said mate fed up with people decrying Trump.
        People making assumptions about a legally elected US president without ever meeting him or speaking to him.
        In this country we have a leader of the government who have promised £1 billion to the northern Irish Tories if they vote with them to keep them in power.Why are they allowed to use OUR money without any recriminations ???.

  12. And all because Heidi poon didn’t let these two carpet sweepers get away with their sweeping at the FTT Tribunal,she would be a brilliant sfa ceo.the q that should have been put to Regan was a personal one how as CEO did u allow brysons farcical imperfect but eligible through.

  13. A terrific and measured post by Sean Michael Lennon Snare. I spend four months of my year in the States. He captured the Trump issue very nicely, delicately and precisely.

  14. Im not sure he’s as big a criminal as made out, If he was JJ why doesn’t your source pass on proof and take precautions to cover his/hers paper trail and nail this scum?

  15. The media are supposed to bring check and balance with unbiased insight in an objective manner. They’re absolutely sickening only reporting (dictating) what they are told. Why bother even going to uni? I totally hate this corruption that stifles honesty and transparency. It is getting worse and reviews, cold shoulders and resolutions are just being brushed under the rug by the same corrupt cabal. It is Time for MR LAWELL to do something loudly and not posture and pander. I worry for our little bigoted sectarian country, its getting worse….

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