The Punishment Fitting The Crime

As a preface to this article I enclose a link – https://t.co/1VPV0NyNTV – to details on the provision of Edmiston House and The Albion Road Car Park as security to a loan from Close Leasing Ltd to The Rangers Football Club Limited(TRFCL) The latter owns the assets. One assumes that TRFCL also owns Ibrox and Auchenhowie or are these still subject to dispute. Liquidating RIFC PLC would be child’s play for the rogue board.

It is not an overdraft. Stewart Robertson was lying through his back teeth when presenting it as such. He was lying through his back teeth when asserting that it was a vote of confidence in the rogue board. One might contend that he is made of the right stuff, a penchant for mendacity, that is high on the list of criteria for the position of Chief Executive at the SFA. Quite incredibly his hat is in the ring. Those who desire a level playing field in Scottish football might as well pack up their tent if someone as compromised as Robertson was selected. Will we return to the revolving door policy that ushered David Murray’s men Gordon Smith and Campbell Ogilvie into executive office at the SFA? The best interests of Rangers Lite will continue to be served by Andrew Dickson, who is the signatory to the loan document. One notes that Dickson had to change the date. Can he not even get this salient detail right? Surely he is destined for a long and fulfilling career at Hampden, unless -horror of horrors – he engaged in crooked submissions to the SFA’s UEFA licence committee of which he was a member. Did Dickson correspond to himself in writing, viz:

Andrew Dickson – TRFCL Director : “I hereby certify that all The Rangers social taxes have been met as they fell due, with the exception of an invoice for two million and eight hundred thousand pounds which is the subject of discussions with HMRC and has not crystallised.”

Andrew Dickson – SFA UEFA Licence Committee Member : “Thank you Andrew. It will be my pleasure to confirm to committee Chair Rod Petrie that all is ticketyboo at Ibrox. Don’t be a stranger at Hotel Du Vin. There’s a very agreeable claret with your name on it.”

One is fully aware that the SFA is an old boys’ club of blazers and brown brogues, but surely corresponding with oneself is beyond the pale? Or is self-certification the name of the game as is the case when submitting the name of a new director? If he’s good enough for Rangers then who are we at the SFA to stand in his way?

My interest was piqued by an article written by Keith Jackson. He was comparing and contrasting the SFA with the SPFL and making a case for Neil Doncaster to not be damned by osmosis to the dysfunctional SFA, despite being a member of the SFA’s Professional Game Board. Jackson highlighted the fact that Doncaster’s 13 strong team yielded a similar quantum of revenue to that of the 180 strong SFA. I’m sure Mr. Jackson will forgive me if I demur as I look at Mr Doncaster and the SPL/SPFL through an extract from the minutes of an interim board meeting which I gleaned from one of my sources. This exclusive was published in jj passim as The Discredited LNS Commission. It can be found in my archive or via a quick search on Google.

Prior to doing so it would be instructive to look at the following SPL rule:

SPL Rule D1.13, in effect from and including 23 May 2005 states:

A Club must, as a condition of Registration and for a Player to be eligible to Play in Official Matches, deliver the executed originals of all Contracts of Service and amendments and/or extensions to Contracts of Service and all other agreements providing for payment, other than for reimbursement of expenses actually incurred, between that Club and Player, to the Secretary [of the SPL, within fourteen days of such Contract of Service or other agreement being entered into, amended and/or, as the case may be, extended.”

The Rangers players in receipt of EBT were not eligible to play in official matches from that date. There was nothing imperfect yet eligible as the SFA’s Sandy Bryson might have us believe. This SPL rule is unequivocal.

A fine of 250,000 pounds for numerous transgressions of this rule is a travesty. A travesty not lost on Duncan Fraser who remitted the following to a number of individuals, including Mr. Doncaster:

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

RE: Appeal to SFA

Gentlemen, I wish to put on record to you all my position.</i></b></span>

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

I wrote at that time:

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. 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 assertions 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 irregularities.

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 precision. 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.”

Regan has been dismissed. Doncaster now has an enhanced remit as Chief Executive of the SPFL. Doncaster is fully cognizant of SPL rule D1.13. He is fully aware of the Supreme Court findings that EBT were means of disguised remuneration. He must also be aware that if Rangers had disclosed EBT disbursements to the SPL, they would no longer be effective. This was not a misinterpretation. It was not an ‘honest mistake’ if you will. This was a calculated conspiracy to evade tax. There were 53 side letters, sub-contracts, which so fatally compromised Paul Baxendale-Walker’s loophole that they rendered these EBT as unlawful.

As Duncan Fraser points out, and the odious Rod Mackenzie confirms, there was no appeal procedure apropos the severity of imposed sanctions. Many of the recommendations in the 42 page report are predicated on FTT findings that have been superseded by The Supreme Court.

Neil Doncaster is unlikely to do the right thing. He is a deluded Continuation Jihadist. How long will he hide behind the Five Way Agreement and The LNS Commission’s report?

He is not just guilty by association with Regan. His guilt is in a class of its own.

 

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21 thoughts on “The Punishment Fitting The Crime”

  1. John,

    Good stuff,mate. And you rightly recall JJ passim,when you called it,as you continue to do.

    We are,of course,wee dugs chasing our own tails. Fix is in,appalling vistas must not be contemplated,continuation myth must endure.

    Scottish football cannot exist without a strong successful Rangers-those days in the late 70s and early 80s proved that,cos Rangers were only getting crowds of 2 and 3 thousand. So what if diddy teams were getting to European finals and semi-finals-even winning one,Ffs-it wisnae a strong Rangers,so it didnae happen. And none of the loyal remember it,they were all down the bowling club anyway.

    Their existence might be facilitated by placemen and cowards at Hampden,but their on-field success is facilitated by strange interpretation of the laws by match officials. Which in any other country would be called out by a strong and independent press.

    Make you laugh,wouldn’t it?

    On which,I was intrigued by your comment yesterday about SDM,Snr,being undone by a racehorse. I knew he’d gone bust-hence SDM withdrawal from Fettes-but I couldn’t find anything about the racehorse.

    (Please don’t take that as me suggesting you are wrong,I just couldn’t find it. I’ll ask my uncle,who’s from Ayr,next time I’m home)

    But I did find this. It’s a thing of beauty. Think of succulent lamb,we now have succulent soup.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/2835071/Private-values-of-a-survivor.html

    And why would anyone wish to carry out an interview while the interviewee slurps on a soup spoon? Freudian types could have a field day…

  2. JJ agree fully. LNS, the SFA and SPFL are completely discredited. Its an absolute scandal. Biggest UK sporting scandal ever and hardly gets a mention in the UK press. Shocking. Disgraceful. I am astonished Regan and Doncaster were able to hold on. What are the other club chairmen an SFA and SPFL Board members thinking. Complete whitewash and failure of Governance. I am shocked UEFA has not looked at this also. Lawell has tried but I think Celtic have been tame. They should pull out of the Scottish Cup and League Cup till its sorted.

  3. So, the revenant is pawning the family silver?
    Superb stuff, JJ. Bonus donation made today.
    Have another Java ‘n’ Baklava. You’ve earned it.

  4. Saw this today:
    Here is an example of a lie been put out to point the blame elsewhere. Had the custodian, DM, of the old instution that is now dead, paid the bills he would not have sold his debt for £1 and washed his hands and ruined the illusions of so many, who used to be the peepul and are now just people following a club without no historic value to shout about, a club yet to win a major honour in the top flight domestic leaugue and Europe.Oh, yes, let that sink in bbefore blaming others for your situation.
    Now they have a new club operating on the same grounds as the old, run up debts to pay the bills, pocket what you can from catering etc and get the mugs to pay for the debt loans and threaten them with events of old. If only you could find peepul that stupid,but surely they would not fall for this sting.
    This has to be the biggest pulling of the heartstrings ever, Davie would you like to step up to the plate so your kids never have to go through this Davie…Davie…Davie…hes gone.

  5. You can see that after Murray came to Ibrox what they started to win regularly looking over previous seasons Celtic Aberdeen and Dundee Utd where doing fine.
    Of coarse the Huns couldn’t stomach this thats why you couldn’t get on a golf course for them ,then bang unlimited credit line from the Bank of Scotland and when Fergus McCann came to save Celtic and build a stadium with 10k more seats than ibrox Murray knew the game was up done his tax dodging EBT gig and killed the club died
    LOGIEBHOY

  6. Despite all the above I reckon the SFA will appoint a “rangers” man as Scottish manager. This will also appoint a continuationist Executive officer. In other words a great big F U to Scotland and to the intelligent rebels of the Internet.

  7. Was it a quote from Regan that I read open mouthed the other day as he lavished praise on Ogilvie who apparently recused himself from any discussions around Rangers Oldco/Newco thereby refuting any possible claims that he might be compromised.
    These guys really think we zip up the back.
    Who subverted the LNS enquiry?
    Who lied through their teeth about his knowledge of the DOS/EBT schemes?
    Who served his time at the SFA in the full knowledge that the payments made were never lodged with the players contracts filed away in Bryson’s room down the corridor?
    Who was aware that Oldco had lied to HMRC about the existence of side letters?
    Who had to be reminded that holding shares in both Oldco and Hearts whilst employed by the SFA could leave him open to claims of him being compromised.
    Of course such is Campbell’s integrity that when this was pointed out to him he immediately got rid of the shares by signing them over to his wife!
    Hip, hip, hoorah.
    Consider yourself having been paid £96k tax free by a former employer and having moved on to pastures new.
    A shit storm arises over a number of issues surrounding your previous employer, some of them very serious.
    By good fortune you are in a position to influence the outcome of some of these issues.
    What do you do?
    Recuse yourself completely?
    Spill all you know to the SFA and HMRC?
    Follow the Gordon Smith line and claim to know nothing about anything?
    The latter of course being a pre requisite at the SFA when the shit hits the fan.
    It’s now clear why Robertson came clean on the Close Bros loan as notice of the security had to be lodged at Companies House which it now has. Pity no one wants to expand on what the other assets are that have been secured against the loan in addition to the car park and Edmiston House.

  8. Quite right. With Regan banished for serial transgressions (none of which include the Rangers debacle), Doncaster is being painted as the acceptable face of Scottish football administration, on the basis that he less incompetent and conflicted . Good to remind us his part in The Fix.

    1. Aye, so Regan sets the standard and in comparison another highly conflicted eejit appears to offer more.
      All we need now is EBT Eck back as manager with Alex Rae and Billy Dodds as his assistants.
      Why not go the whole hog and get David Murray running the show, again, with Dickson and Robertson his message boy.
      JJ, you say that Dickson signed off for Newco on the security paperwork lodged with Companies House.
      Who signed off for Oldco on the fraudulent UEFA licencing application because whoever it was should be looking at the world through bars at the BAR L as should those involved in the subsequent cover up.
      Wonder how the Compliance Officer’s review of SFA licencing procedures is going?
      Has he been stood down? If so by whom?
      5 months down the road and counting but rest assured it’s all for the best and time to move on.
      Corruption and criminality, just another day in Scottish football.
      Still no replacement manager, no CEO(will anyone notice?) and a summer jaunt for the blazers to the Americas which is guaranteed to cause a major fracas with the clubs whose players are called up.
      All Regan’s doing apparently as will be any other bad news seeping from the Hampden bunker.
      Lawwell insists that there are people at Hampden doing a grand job.
      I wish he had named them.

  9. The whole Rangers corruption and death just underlines Scotland is a corrupt, semi barbarous wee s-hole, full of crooks, thugs and bigots aided and abetted by a self interested cowardly media that will look the other way or classify anyone seeking redress for open criminality and cheating as an obsessed fenian. This is what we have here. A bad taste in the mouth is putting it mildly.

  10. Off topic but relevant I think,look at the English high court judgement on Assange,loaded in favour of the establishment/tory old boys clubs,they have a stranglehold in all areas of our lives,anyone thinking of the demise of the bastion of establishment/unionism that is Sevco better think long and hard.

  11. There is a gorgeous moment in dimmos reasoning when he states that” now there will be occasions when a false registration renders a player inelligible, but this isn’t one of them”,cheeso running a tax racket,hiding the sides,lying that they existed and having them discovered in a police raid on another matter is pretty incidental man right,the only way the ebt players could have been elligible was if the rule had been written as… A club,except rangers, must……..

    1. Not to mention LNS’s saying.

      “There is no question of dishonesty, individual or corporate.”

      The Comp Off investigation should blow that out of the water.

      1. 5 months and counting Auldheid, wouldn’t get too excited.
        What gets forgotten in the corruption and criminality surrounding Scottish football is that our football officials can’t even get on with the day job.
        Take drug testing for instance.
        In the last published numbers the amount of tests carried out over the last few years barely reached double figures.
        What is the SFA/SPFL drug testing policy….?
        Is there a coherent policy or is football in Scotland the only sport in the world without a drug problem?
        With the number of tests last reported being carried out there is more chance of winning this week’s Euro Millions than being caught with banned substances in your system.
        In addition most responsible sporting bodies also carry out random tests on their own staff.
        This is SFA/SPFL transparency at it’s best.

  12. Another excellent article. RIFC borrowing £3Million to keep the lights on and dressing this up as the 6 year old club finally acheiving credit facility status from a bank, why no questions from the Media? Does the Laptop Loyal so dutifully fufil their lapdog status that they cannot even question such blatant lies from the RFC CEO? Only in Scotland!
    Regan being removed from the SFA should only be the beginning of the end of the blatant corruption of the Great Scottish Football Swindle. Doncaster and Petrie and McRae are as much a part of the illegalities as Regan. As the 5 way agreement is brought into the light does this not perfectly illustrate that the corrupt cabal running Scottish Football are perhaps even more in the mould of a Cartel? They control the product, they control the market, they control the finances, they control the governing body. There are no rules and regulations to which they need to abide. CFC and Peter Lawwell should hang their heads in shame and bend over for their next dose of manipulation
    Do not be surprised that there is frantic scrambling behind the scenes to continue the continuation of RRM in the SFA. The Scotland managers job must go the one of the boys, someone that the Corrupt cabal can rely on, EBT McLeish? A considerable step backwards but leaves Malkys boy in situ and dont dismiss the value he will instantly add to the RFC squad by selecting them. The SFA CEO job must also go to a RRM or, at worst, to a like minded individual. My money is on the PFA CEO who, as poacher /gamekeeper / Agent / Lawyer / pundit / RRM / etc must be at the forefront…….

  13. JJ

    There are 3 possibilities regarding Doncaster and LNS.

    Either he and Regan conspired to set the investigation up as happened

    Or

    Regan/SFA kept DOS info from SPL and let SPL take the lead ignorant of what was known to SFA.

    Or

    Rangers kept the info from both in 2011 and 2012.

    If the Compliance Officer is thorough then which applies should emerge.

    Under all 3 LNS should be set aside.

    Probably why SFA investigation is taking so long.

    1. Auldheid, what if the CO’s new line manager has told him to desist from his review?
      For the sake of Scottish football, moving on etc etc.
      There is no transparency and at the end of the day we have someone employed by the SFA reviewing matters apropos his employer.
      Not for a moment am I implying that he will be influenced in his findings but you couldn’t blame him if he was.
      Rock and hard place comes to mind.

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