How do you solve a problem like our Andy?
How do you catch his sophistry and pin it down?
How do you find the word that means his duplicity?
A flibbertijibbet! A will-o’-the wisp! A clown!
Many a thing you know you’d like to tell him
Many a thing he ought to understand
But how do you make him stay and listen to all you say
How do you take a knuckle shuffle from his hand?
Oh, how do you solve a problem like our Andy?
How do you hold a Minty moonbeam in your hand?
When I’m with him I’m confused, out of focus and bemused
And I never know exactly where I am
Unpredictable as weather, he’s as flighty as a feather
He’s a darling! He’s a demon! He’s a succulent lamb!
I have no way of knowing whether SFA Compliance Officer Tony McGlennan is a fan of The Sound of Music but I contend that one of the biggest problems on his plate is Andrew Dickson. It has been six months since McGlennan was tasked with a binary issue. Did Dickson in his capacity as Head of Football Administration at former club Rangers subvert the decision of an SFA Licencing Committee? Did he lie to this committee, a committee of which he was a member, apropos an overdue payable? Testimony at the Craig Whyte trial leads one to the conclusion that Dickson either lied through his back teeth or that a committee headed by Rod Petrie decided to sweep the social tax shortfall under the table.
This leads to two more important questions:
1. Why was Dickson, The Head of Football Administration at applicant club Rangers, allowed a say in their UEFA application? He was severely compromised and should have played no part in this decision.
2. Did Rod Petrie engage in a backroom deal with Campbell Ogilvie to pave the path for Rangers in exchange for a leg up the SFA’s greasy pole?
It’s my unshakeable conviction that the SFA should be abolished. They have failed Scottish football. They are incapable of fair play. Sporting Integrity is a foreign land that the SFA sinecures have yet to visit.
As Rangers stole 17-20 titles, the SFA drove their get-away car.
When the game’s policeman is bent and its judiciary is on the take from bookmaker sponsors you have what passes for football governance in Scottish football. Video Assisted Refereeing will be introduced at this year’s World Cup. I doubt that it will be introduced any time soon as the SFA want the pro-Lite decisions to continue. Goal-line technology has long been a feature in the EPL, but not in the backwater of Scottish football governance. As for drug testing, should Bradley Wiggins lose his Halford’s sponsorship he should try his hand in Scottish football where his intramuscular injection of steroids would go undetected.
What do the 180 staff at Hampden do all day? The square root of fuck all?
Those who follow me on Twitter, last count 6,211 (@Sitonfence), will know that I only follow The Rangers Tax Case Blogger and The Football Blogging Awards site. The latter will be of little relevance this year as I won’t be able to follow my New Football Blog Award win with a significant showing in the 2018 awards which are a few months away. I don’t anticipate even making any shortlist. Given my enforced exile I would be eligible for an International Award but to compete with Phil Macgiollabhain, who is quick to remind us that he is a fully-fledged journalist, would be too much for a humble social media correspondent. He has 32,000+ followers on Twitter. He spent eleven eleven years as a staff writer for Sinn Fein. One can understand why the Irish diaspora clasp him to their bosoms and open their wallets to support him. He does not have to struggle.
Had it not been for the intervention of one 11th hour benefactor I was intent on walking away. Running a blog is for those other than the favoured few a thankless task. I receive brickbats about a password as my free to air pieces are taken for granted.
Someone who was honoured for his blog was the anonymous Rangers Tax Case Blogger. He received the prestigious Orwell award. I am so low on the pecking order of social media that I would not be invited to clean this award. Donations tell me all I need to know about the longevity of this site. Like Rangers Lite my future as a blogger will be short-lived and increasingly troublesome. When I block thoughts of credible death threats from my head and revert to our site, I receive criticism and accusations of operating a ‘fucking con.’ Some of my readers should take a long hard look at themselves. I don’t write for these ungrateful wretches who will soon be weeded out. I write for my most valued readers.
I am indebted to the RTC blogger for his transcript of Murray Group v HMRC, which began on 18 April 2011. The cross-examination of Andrew Dickson by counsel for HMRC (Mr. Thomson) gives one the measure of Dickson. He is a mendacious tax-cheat with selective amnesia.
When pressed by Thomson why he had not presented the schedule of player payments preceding season 2005/2006, which he was compelled to do, Dickson Rangers’ Head of Football Administration, responded:
” The SPL didn’t — never contacted us coming looking for it.”
All Rangers players in season 2005/2006 were ineligible. They were not imperfectly registered. When pressed whether this flagrant breach of the rules had been the case since 2000, Dickson disingenuously responded that he could not be sure. What was crystal clear was that the side-letters, the tax-free payments, were excluded from all submissions to the SFA and SPL.
Thomson now had Dickson where he wanted him. When he pressed him further apropos the conspicuous absence of side-letter payment schedules being presented to the SPL and SFA, Dickson responded:
“Because there was no need to. The only information that the SPL and SFA needed to receive are payments that are due to players and the letters of undertaking were not payments directly to players.”
“All that was happening here is the player agrees to play for the club on a package of conditions which are artificially split, Mr Dickson, between what you choose to put in the formal contract, which is lodged with the SFA and SPL, and what you choose not to put in that, which goes into the side letter. It’s not sophisticated. It’s simply choosing not to put some stuff into a formal document.”
Thomson’ position in 2011 was accurate, however we had to wait six long years prior to the ultimate endorsement of his position by The Supreme Court.
Dickson was on the ropes, but his sophistry knew no bounds. Thomson would not be deterred. He referred Dickson to a bundle in which this regulation was housed:
“All payments to be made to a player relating to his playing activities must be clearly recorded upon the relevant contract and/or agreement. No payments for his playing activities may be made to a player via a third party.”
Thomson asserted that payments made via a sub-trust were third party payments. Dickson countered that they were loans and were at arm’s length from the club.
Thomson wrapped up day one of proceedings with his conclusion that Andrew Dickson, the Head of Football Administration, deliberately withheld side-letter schedules from the SPL and SFA. Dickson wanted the tax evasion and the flagrant breach of regulations kept under wraps.
Dickson in 2005 was personally responsible for 29 of 56 side-letters. Ian Macmillan of the Murray Group was fully aware of this but denied their existence when approached by HMRC at that time.
Dickson is evidently cut from the same cloth as King. The latter appointed Dickson to the board of the member club. A member club which continues to be governed by Dickson in his role as an officer of the SFA.
If Dickson who participated in three of the Licence Committee meetings of 2011 cannot give a straight answer under oath, why should one believe him on any matter?
If Tony McGlennan does not unsheath his sword to cut Dickson off at the knees, the stench of a corrupt whitewash at Hampden will resonate with the public at large.
Who in their right minds will venture their hard-earned cash to pay off Alex McLeish’s very own overdue payable when he and his colleagues continue to escape the consequences of their actions by an SFA compliance officer who seems to be asleep on the job.