An Orwellian Dystopia

There are those in literary circles who believe George Orwell’s literary classic 1984 was plagiarized from Yevgeny Zamyatin’s 1920s novel, We. The Russian novel was originally published in English in 1924. We was banned in Russia until 1988.Foreign editions released in Zamyatin’s lifetime led to his being banned from publishing. He eventually wrote to Stalin to ask permission to live abroad. It was granted, and he left Russia for ever in 1931. He died six years later.

Today in a courtroom in Edinburgh we were given an insight on Charles Green’s tenure at Rangers. However what was presented to court, on Green’s behalf, was that Sevco was a plagiarized iteration of Rangers. All the soothing rhetoric of continuity via a new operating company was forensically deconstructed by a highly-skilled advocate. The balm of Lord Nimmo Smith’s privately commissioned report, which unsurprisingly reinforced Neil Doncaster’s notion that Rangers were the same club, was dismissed out of hand. This dramatic volte-face by Mr Green leads to one unequivocal conclusion. He was pulling the wool over our eyes in June 2012. Everything he told us about buying the history of Rangers would now appear to be a lie. A glib and shameless lie, just like those we expect from our career criminal chairman.

Mr King made another statement on the same theme as an earlier statement by Je Suis Graham. Allow me to apprise you of the rationale for yet another statement on the same theme. As I revealed on this site, four representatives of clubs on the SPFL board are putting pressure on Topping and Doncaster to strip titles from Rangers during the EBT decade. This is now an open secret in Scottish football. Roddy Forsyth’s article in The Daily Telegraph refers to two chairman discussing the implications of title stripping. Neither chairman would go on the record, but I don’t doubt the veracity of Mr Forsyth’s reportage.It would appear that the narrative has moved on from titles stripping to the bonuses due when the titles are reappraised.

To compound matters, Mr Brown highlighted the fact that if Charles Green is found guilty at his forthcoming trial, the assets he acquired would be the fruit of a criminal enterprise and would either revert to The Crown, or liquidators BDO. In a bizarre paradox, should Mr Wolffe representing RIFC prevail, he will undermine the efforts of Charles Green to win his case and allow RIFC to retain the assets.

Meanwhile, the escalating war between Mike Ashley and Dave King moved up a notch with informed sources suggesting that Ashley is planning to throw a stick of dynamite at the EGM/AGM in fifteen days time. It would appear that he has some inordinately damaging information on King. Ashley is then going to follow this up with a judicial review on why King was passed fit and proper while still serving a suspended sentence for contempt of court in South Africa. Of course there is a distinct possibility that King will be spending 30 days in prison if Adam Lewis prevails at The High Courts of Justice Chancery Division on 9th December.

At this point I would jettison King. Ashley won’t rest until he crushes King. I anticipate some horse trading by Regan in the coming weeks. If King were thrown under a bus, it might be suggested that the growing consensus to strip titles would be derailed at a Mount Florida terminus. If he is not thrown under a bus Ashley might take down King and The SFA.

Mr King states that the internet illuminati are ill-informed. This may be true Mr King, but we have your number.

The Elephant in the Room

In a previous article, The Reservoir Dogs of Rangers, I outlined the testimony of the colour-coded ciphers in the final appeal by HMRC. A new colour has entered the Rangers lexicon, namely Mr Jonathan Brown. Readers of my article (Greens litigation cover could include defending an investors class action suit re IPO) published September 25, will not be surprised by Mr Brown’s opening gambit that the prospect of future litigation was specifically mentioned in the IPO prospectus.

Mr Brown continues by stating “The risk that someone might seek to unpick this transaction was clearly anticipated. At this juncture, there is a surprising development. Mr Brown has an ace up his sleeve. Apparently the solicitor that drew up Mr Green’s contract of employment, also acted for Mr Coulsen. The implication here is that the contract could withstand legal challenge by anyone choosing to refer to the Coulson case precedents. Mr Brown then presents to court a contract between “The Rangers Football Club Ltd” and Charles Green from September 2012 which has been backdated to June 1st.

Mr Brown then moves on to “the vexed question of the mythical concept of the club.” Lord Doherty states that the “articles of association show Rangers started as a club.

Brown responded that this changed when Rangers incorporated in 1899. Brown continued: “Sevco Scotland did not buy the club they bought the business and assets of the club.There is a difference between the company and the business assets, but not between a club and a company. A club is an undertaking of it’s owners. As it has neither capacity of personality, no-one can be CEO of a club. The idea that someone can be CEO of an undertaking is just nonsense.”

Brown continued: “I realize that Rangers being the same club is a matter of life and death to some, but it wouldn’t be a proper legal case without the elephant in the room getting mentioned.The team are paid by Sevco, play at a ground owned by Sevco, trained by a manager who is employed by Sevco, fans buy tickets from Sevco. Rangers was a basket of assets that could be sold, but these were not indivisible.The players went one way and the ground another, where is the “club” then?”

With these statements Mr Brown refutes the concept that the club continued with new operators or a new holding company, which was the preferred narrative of the RIFC legal team. He concludes that the team playing at Ibrox is Sevco, not Rangers.

Mr Brown pointed out that Mr Green was happy to depart the scene without fuss, but if he was dragged back in “you  pay the lawyers.” The wording of the indemnity agreement shows “it was to be as wide as possible.” The costs decision can not wait until the criminal case is over, as “The rainy day has arrived.” Jonathan Brown then finishes his submissions on behalf of his client Charles Green.

Mr Wolffe then rises to rebut by making a few short points.He agrees that Green is “entitled to the presumption of innocence” on the criminal charges. Mr Wolffe suggests Lord Doherty can “draw an inference from the criminal indictment” which he refers to as his “ fallback position.”

As proceedings draw to a close, Lord Doherty gives leave to Mr Brown to have the last word.The Court is told that Mr Green is seeking funding for senior counsel, junior counsel, solicitors and any experts senior counsel wishes to call.

Lord Doherty adjourns the case to consider submissions. His verdict will be provided in writing at a later date.

.

The Wolffe of Parliament Square

This article is predicated on the live tweets from James Doleman. I thank James for his excellent court coverage and his insights that have underpinned several articles and contributions to this site. Charles Green v RIFC is currently being heard before Lord Doherty at The Court of Session Edinburgh.Representing RIFC is Dean of faculty at Axiom Advocates, James Wolffe QC. Charles Green is represented by Jonathan Brown from the same chambers. Mr Brown is considerably junior to Mr Wolffe and is not a silk. I’m inordinately surprised that Mr Green, who is not present in court, chose Mr Brown. He may be the inexpensive option, but on a matter where the costs could run to in excess of £1.5m, surely a QC should have been retained.

Mr Wolffe is currently presenting the case for the defence. He is stating that the  “overarching conspiracy” alleged in the criminal charges, pre-dated Green taking up his role at Rangers on June 14, 2012. He has produced the indictments against Green in the forthcoming criminal trial,  which are alleged to have occurred prior to Mr Green taking office at RIFC.

Mr Wolffe has presented a Supreme Court ruling in regard to the legal costs of Andy Coulsen v News International,which stated that Coulson’s phone hacking involvement was “a misguided attempt to carry out his duties as editor.”  The eminent QC argued that The Court of Appeal ruling “drew a line” on indemnity. This is effectively stating that when Mr Coulssen strayed into illegal activity, he was no longer indemnified by his former employer.

Mr Wolffe for RIFC argued that it would be “astonishing” to suggest a legal indemnity could cover any criminal charge a director faced.He posited that Green’s legal indemnity would only apply to actions he took “properly” and “in the interests” of the company. In this case Sevco Scotland which later became The Rangers Football Club plc.

Mr Wolffe submitted  that the decision on who pays Charles Green’s costs would be better settled after the criminal trial is over. In his final submission, Mr Wolffe called for the action against his client by Charles Green to be dismissed.

Lord Doherty agreed with QC Wolffe  that the Court of Appeal judgement in the Coulson case shows that not all criminal proceedings can be indemnified.

Mr Brown, for Charles Green, then rose to respond. He submitted that the compromise agreement was a “negotiated settlement and that “the clue is in the name.”  He then stated that the lower the scope of the legal indemnity the less its value. Mr Brown also cites the Coulson case to reject the idea that the issue of costs rested on a judgment about the strength of the defendant’s case.

The next statements by Mr Brown are of considerable import. He submitted Charles Greenacquired the assets of Rangers for Sevco Scotland, which holds them to this day.” He stated that If the charge against Green is proved “the business and assets [of Rangers] would be the proceeds of a crime.This would open the door for a claim by the liquidators on the assets.”

Mr Brown argued that the indemnity was negotiated to include proviision for Green to defend a civil claim by Craig Whyte and to protect company assets.If Green was found guilty “The company would have big problems” He posited that there were sound commercial reasons for granting legal indemnity to Mr Green. Brown submitted that that when the agreement was signed both parties were aware “there might be litigation over these matters.”

This mornings proceedings have adjourned for lunch. I will write further when this matter continues this afternoon.

More thoughts on Final Appeal

I would like to thank Jim Fraser for his contribution and acknowledge Moe Goe’s reference to a QC’s position on Radio Scotland. I will respond to Jim’s points as they occur in his text.

Can we start dealing with the factual situation in regard to EBT’s? and dispense with the moral hyperbole, I read time and time again from both yourself and posters to your blog that Rangers were found guilty of tax evasion and therefore committed an illegal act that should result in Rangers being further punished, principally by the stripping of titles (this mostly from CFC supporters).Can we be clear RFC did not engage in any form of tax evasion (which is illegal), they operated a tax avoidance scheme for the benefit of employees, tax avoidance is perfectly legal. (Morality aside).

David Murray would take issue with you. Under cross examination at the Inner Court of Session he denied there was any tax avoidance. He implied that the EBT scheme was perceived as tax efficiency. Hugh Adam posited his opinion, in 2002,2009,2012 that it was cheating and that everyone on the board knew that it was cheating. His statements, not mine. I have no doubt in my mind that David Murray engaged in this enterprise for the express purpose of tax avoidance. However when he issued side letters to confirm that RFC plc would underwrite any tax liability should HMRC prevail in any concurrent or subsequent action, he undermined the efficacy of his strategy. As Hugh Adam confirmed, HMRC were challenging Rangers on the Discounted Option Scheme and EBT since 2001. Football agents were concerned about this action and insisted on the side letters to indemnify their clients. At this point, the EBT concept was stripped of its tax avoidance status and became tax evasion. Murray and other directors did not seek legal advice on the side letters. Had it not been for a raid by City of London Police in regard to the Jean-Alain Boumsong transfer these side letters would have never seen the light of day. The decision by former Chief Executive Martin Bain to shred his contract and accompanying documents is indicative of his concern that his contract and accompanying documents were illegal and could be subject to criminal charges. He dropped his £900,000 damages suit against RFC plc in March 2012.The law lords have now ruled that all EBT issued by the club were ‘disguised emoluments’ on which employer National Insurance should have been paid, in addition to the deduction of PAYE and NI from the EBT beneficiaries. Effectively they were paid off the books. This was not a successful tax avoidance scheme. It was tax evasion. The directors knowingly engaged in this strategy in the forlorn hope that it was legal. They then deliberately deceived the SFA so as not jeopardize the benefits that they anticipated. The benefits were circa £47m. 

The club through Murray Holdings (the then operators of the club) operated a tax avoidance scheme in the form of trusts and sub trusts which for the years in question was perfectly legal to operate, HMRC were made fully aware of the scheme, details of which were submitted to HMRC in tax returns for each year of operation….I reiterate there was NO tax evasion.

I wholeheartedly disagree. HMRC were disputing the tax returns from 2001. How do we know this? Hugh Adam informed us in 2002.

in 2011 HMRC concerned at the growth of the various legal avoidance schemes, (including EBT’s,) and the potential loss of taxation to the exchequer, introduced the Disguised Remuneration Rules in Finance Act 2011, which essentially gave HMRC the ability to retrospectively collect tax from schemes that had hitherto legally allowed individuals to avoid they’re full tax burden…..I reiterate again there was NO tax evasion.

I am aware of the introduction of changes in the legislation. I have referred to it in other articles. However I posit that RFC plc had departed from the parameters that conferred tax avoidance status with the issue of side letters.

The club, or Murray Holdings to be more accurate, appealed the validity of HMRC’s decision to retrospectively claim tax on the EBT scheme which they are perfectly entitled to do, and again it’s not illegal to appeal a tax assessment, it’s important to note both the first tier and upper tax tribunals which consist mainly of lay people who are specialists in tax laws and their implementation both broadly agreed with the clubs stance, therefore any appeal was not fatuous but obviously had weight and substance based on the technicalities of the Acts implementation. (The rules)

Agreed, but as soon as Heidi Poon reviewed the case, her excoriating judgements on the former directors ran to eighty pages.

The Court of Session in the latest appeal ruling appear to have ruled in favour of HMRC on the grounds that the club, although using perfectly legitimate grounds, had not acted within the spirit the 2011 Act intended.
Therefore the ruling is that tax which had been legitimately avoided up until the 2011 Act implementation was now due and should be paid based on a “common sense interpretation” of the 2011 Act.
A further appeal against the latest judgement could in fact reverse it again if the judges in that appeal place more weight on the technical aspects of the 2011 Act, ( i.e. operating within the guidelines of the 2011 Act to your benefit), and less weight on the common sense approach (i.e. acting within the “spirit” of the Act rather than strict adherence to the guidelines)…….again I reiterate there is No tax evasion, this is a complicated tax assessment process, NOT tax evasion
The fact is, if the operating company was still operating as a going concern they would now be issued with a notice to honour the full assessment as per the latest ruling (pending further appeal), just like millions of us do every year when we get our tax assessments from HMRC.

This is not the case. They have not deemed that the club engaged in legitimate tax avoidance. Did you just make this up? I challenge you to produce the text which underpins this interpretation. You imply that a ruling by three law lords at the inner Court of Session is merely the latest in a series of judgments that have ebbed and flowed from and to HMRC. We are not dealing with lay people in the FTT. This the FINAL ruling on this matter by the highest court in Scotland. It’s the FINAL word on this matter. Any challenge to the Supreme Court would have to be on a point of law. I envisage no possibility of any court overturning the decisions of the inner Court of Session. Anyone who believes this will occur is clutching at straws.

It would only become a criminal or illegal offence if after the appeal process is over you deliberately evade paying tax which has been deemed to be legally due.

The appeal processes are over.A Supreme court challenge would be an extraordinary event given that any challenge has no legal merit. As it won’t happen it’s a moot point Mr Fraser.

There was No ruling that the club engaged in deliberate tax evasion, the Court of Session ruled that the EBT trust scheme did not work as intended, if taking a common sense approach to the 2011 Act

Hugh Adam alluded to the possibility of deliberate tax evasion. The law lords ruled that the directors did not engage in a legitimate tax avoidance scheme. They did not make any ruling on tax evasion, but their directives lend more weight to the argument of tax evasion, than to that of your interpretation.

If the Professional Gaming Board were asked to review the suitability of Paul Murray in light of these hearings, they might come to the conclusion that he was a party to illicit acts and should not be deemed fit and proper.

Are the SFA Fit & Proper?

December could have been a busy month for our career criminal King administration. Charles Green and five others will resume their High Court trial’s preliminary hearing on December 8th. King will face Contempt of Court charges on December 9th. The SFA were due to defend an action by Mike Ashley in regard to King on December 11, but this has now been postponed until  4 February 2016.

Dave King would be delighted if he could postpone his Contempt charges at The High Courts of Justice until a later date in February, some time after the 22nd, as he is currently serving a suspended sentence on a three month prison term for contempt of court.

Since common sense has recently been one of the parameters for legal directives, how will the High Courts of Justice judge view the fact of King’s suspended conviction for contempt of court in South Africa on 22 February, 2013? Will he come to the conclusion that he is an incorrigible career criminal who should be imprisoned for 30 days? Will the judge take a withering view of his 41 convictions for tax evasion? How will the judge view Mr King’s admitted perjury and the view, expressed by three distinguished judges that King is a glib and shameless  liarwho will not hesitate to lie if it serves his best interests and should not be believed on any matter unless supported by objective evidence.

There can be no justification whatsoever for the SFA coming to the conclusion that Dave King was ‘fit and proper.’ He contravenes the SFA’s  article 10.2, which excludes any individual sentenced to a prison sentence of two years or more. Each of King’s tax convictions carry a sentence of two years, and he is currently serving a suspended sentence of three months. Then there is his stewardship as non-executive director on a board who abnegated on their fiduciary duties to the shareholders when allowing a tax evasion conspiracy to be perpetrated. The latter is hardly surprising as King bought his shares to evade tax.

It is hard to imagine anyone less fit to be a director of football company/club than Dave King. Massimo Cellino has been banned by the English Football Association for not paying VAT on an imported Range Rover. Dave King  was charged with evading £120m of tax with an £120m penalty. He eventually paid £44m in tax and a £650,000 fine, having spent 13 years and £50m lying to each and every court he entered. He even had the audacity to apply for the South African equivalent of legal aid in his guise as a golf caddie.

The SFA claimed that they instructed a solicitor to give them legal advice. We will find out if this is true, or a lie by Stewart Regan in an attempt to save face in a scandalous decision that circumvents the SFA’s articles of association. What will the SFA’s case be? Will they revert to The Bryson Defence by claiming that King was ‘imperfectly deemed fit and proper?

I posit that this was yet another SFA stitch-up in their unrelenting quest to restore Rangers to the Scottish Premiership. The decision was predicated on one single choice. If King has money, as he claims, to invest in Rangers, then we cannot refuse him as another insolvency event might exclude Rangers from next year’s Scottish Premiership.

The fact that King was barely credible was overlooked by Regan as he sold his decision to an eight man board. Not the full eleven members of The Professional Gaming Board, where Regan would require at least five other members to support his ridiculous assertion. SFA Board Protocols section 3.15 (iv) state that responsibility for ‘approving persons to hold position within Association Football’ lies with the Professional Gaming Board. They broke their own rules to arrive at their highly flawed conclusion. The PGB voted that Paul Murray was fit and proper. They were expecting to be convened for the vote on King. Stewart Regan went against established SFA precepts to force King through.

The  PGB  at that time consisted of Rod Petrie (Hibs), Neil Doncaster (SPFL), Ralph Topping (SPFL), Peter Lawwell (Celtic), Duncan Fraser (Aberdeen), Mike Mulraney (Alloa), Sandy Stables (Highland League), Andrew Waddell (Lowland League), Stewart Regan (SFA chief executive), Campbell Ogilvie (SFA President) and Alan McRae (first vice-president of the SFA).
The main SFA board at that time consisted of Regan, Ogilvie, McRae, Petrie, Barrie Jackson, Peter Lawwell, Ralph Topping and Tom Johnston of the Junior FA.

As a non-executive director, Barrie Jackson did not have a vote. He had an advisory remit on this board. The vote was 5-2 in favour of King. There were no abstentions.

Let’s have a look at the motivation of the seven men who voted.Given all we know about Campbell Ogilvie, there is no question he would back Regan. There is no question McRae would back Regan as he needed his support to be elevated from Vice President to President, when Mr Ogilvie subsequently did not seek re-election. Ralph Topping, who is chairman of the SPFL backed Regan. To not do so would create a schism in the relationship between both governing bodies. I have little doubt that the ambitious Tom Johnston backed Regan. The two dissenting voices were those of Petrie and Lawwell.

Regan went into this meeting in the full knowledge that he was guaranteed a majority. If he had convened the Professional Gaming Board, Regan would have been guaranteed the backing of Doncaster, Topping, Ogilvie and McRae. Lawwell, Petrie, Fraser and Mulraney might have voted against with the votes of Stables and Waddell deciding the majority vote.

I posit that Regan was not confident of gaining the five votes he required to impose his position on the PGB.

The last thing the SFA wanted was to be challenged in court. The SFA are not fit for purpose and they cannot justify why the PGB was not convened. There has never been any question that Dave King was unfit and improper. Those who backed King will have to justify their decision in court. If Ashley is successful King’s position as chairman will be suspended subject to review by the full PGB. This time minus the insidious influence of Ogilvie, and with any luck, the compromised Stewart Regan.

Those hoping for further consideration of the LNS decision by the SPFL board will be disappointed. Doncaster. Topping, Regan and McRae are now circling their wagons to defend their risible decision to back King.

If King is imprisoned for thirty days on December 9, the folly of their decision will be in sharp relief.

The Fatally Flawed LNS Report

Some, whose opinions I respect, have questioned the wisdom of my position on Lord Nimmo Smith’s report, I believe that it is unsound and not tenable. I am fully aware that it is one of the two fig leafs that we cling to as others attempt to strip us bare. The prospect of a BDO appeal to the Supreme Court is built on sand. Whether we like it or not, three venerable Law Lords have had the final word on the use of Employment Benefit Trusts. Their conclusions are binding.The report produced by the LNS commission was not legally binding.

In many ways the LNS report was a boon to Rangers. A fine, with no points deduction, was an inordinately favorable result. Despite this a succession of Rangers boards have refused to pay the £250,000 fine and costs. The £250,000 fig leaf was too rich for the blood of the underfunded King administration. Should the SPFL decide to engage in a process of further consideration, the tariff of penalties may well be exacerbated by the findings of the distinguished Law Lords

My desire for a new report was to expose King, Murray and the SFA  (who approved both) to further scrutiny. The chances of this are slim unless a majority of the SPFL board demand it. Mr Topping and Mr Doncaster will do their utmost to keep a lid on resentment. The view of the fans of Scottish Football will not be solicited. The fans held their respective boards over a barrel to oppose the latest iteration of Rangers being granted an SPL share. The season cards have been paid for. The fans can inveigh to their heart’s content, but they cannot compel action at this point in time.

In another article I outlined a scenario where a new report could be commissioned by the SPFL and subsequently vetoed by the SFA. A report set up to fail. Some on Twitter argued that this was a cynical view. However if you look at the roles of some of the key contributors to the LNS report, you will find a rationale for cynicism.

The underlying premise of the LNS report was that any recommendations would be accepted and applied by the SPL. with a right of appeal to the SFA. The report would be independent of both governing bodies, and that the SPL and SFA would be at arms’ length from each other.

Sandy Bryson chose to drive a horse and coaches through these established precepts. Mr Bryson, as the head of registration at the SFA, should not have been presenting any documentary evidence to an SPL commission. Any appeal in regard to registration irregularities would have led directly to his office at the SFA. Mr Bryson chose to be a very ineffective poacher and a redundant gamekeeper. He ensured that there would be no rabbits in Lord Nimmo Smith’s snares.

Prior to proceeding, it would be instructive to look at Mr Bryson’s official SFA remit. As the head of the registrations department he would be the ultimate authority in the review of a club’s annual returns to the SFA,  which should contain all contractual details between club and players.

He would have been mindful of the rules and regulations of the SFA, including:

Rule D1.13: 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, within fourteen days of such Contract of Service or other agreement being entered into, amended and/or, as the case may be, extended.

I cannot overemphasize the significance of this rule, and that has been proven conclusively in court, Rangers flagrant disregard for this rule. This rule is not optional. It is compulsory. Should any club disregard this rule, the ultimate sanction is having their SFA licence withdrawn.

Mr Bryson was also responsible for the issue of UEFA licences which behoves him to diligently review all contracts and agreements and to conduct an annual audit of the contracts of all players, managers and directors prior to the issue of a licence.

However Mr Bryson was somewhat compromised when former Chief Executive, Martin Bain, sued RFC plc  for £900,000 damages in 2011. It was revealed to the court that Mr Bain had ordered the shredding of his own contract and other documents for fear of leaving himself exposed to the rule of law. This would be the same contract that Mr Bryson should have reviewed at the SFA prior to granting a UEFA licence.

Despite all of these inspections and compliance tests, Mr Bryson’s department claimed to be oblivious to the subterfuge at Rangers. Some might suggest that there was a singular lack of governance in Mr Bryson’s department and that he went out of his way to conceal his department’s incompetence apropos to the LNS report. It has also been suggested that the audits and tests were not rigorously applied to Rangers and that corners were cut, and details glossed over, to accommodate the Establishment club.

Lord Nimmo Smith’s report castigated the Rangers board. He concluded that year after year the secretary of the club, Campbell Ogilvie. chose not to disclose the contracts and accompanying documents, which were addenda to the contracts, to the SFA. Heidi Poon was equally scornful of the RFC executives in her withering judgement of some 80 pages in the First Tier Tribunal.

The conclusions of two eminent judges did not preclude the appointment of two individuals who were complicit in the disclosure transgressions. As non-executive directors in RFC plc, Mr King and Mr Murray had a duty to comply with Rule D1.13. The SFA set aside its own rules to pass them both as ‘fit and proper.’

The most surprising omission in the LNS report was that all former directors of the club were not punished for their actions, which were deemed to be tantamount to match-fixing. The SFA threw the book at Craig Whyte. He was an easy target. They obligingly overlooked the involvement of Campbell Ogilvie, Andrew Dickson and David Murray. The SFA did not reproach Martin Bain for shredding his incriminating contract.

Mr Bryson advised LNS  that the players in receipt of EBT were ‘registered imperfectly’ but ‘eligible.’ to play. Please revert to rule D1.13. I would contend that Mr Bryson’s interpretation of the rule was a self-serving perversion of said rule. I posit that even if they were imperfectly registered, they were not eligible as key parts of their contract had not been disclosed and the clause clearly states that to be registered and eligible those contracts must be disclosed.
The side letters, which former directors denied all knowledge of, were not disclosed.

There was a a deliberate and sustained breach of the rules which resulted in a £47m pecuniary advantage over a ten year period. Despite this Lord Nimmo Smith arrived at the surprising conclusion that there was no competitive advantage

It would appear that the registration interpretations of Mr Bryson is at odds with the arguments presented by UEFA apropos FC Sion.The SFA unequivocally state that clubs and players will be bound by all rules and regulations of the SFA, UEFA, FIFA and by the findings of the Court of Arbitration for Sport. Mr Bryson’s unique interpretation of rule D1.13 is the Achilles heel of the LNS report. The UEFA precedent would suggest that the LNS report is fatally flawed.

In the final analysis, LNS stated that RFC plc executives were able to breach the rules to protect their own tax efficiency interests and that the checks and balances within Scottish Football Governance were ill-equipped to uncover their subterfuge and to stop them. Two separate licensing functions and a supposed compliance audit each and every year were not fit for purpose.
Reassessing fixtures, stripping titles and other considerations are far less significant than ensuring that those who were involved in creating this tax scam and those who were involved in covering it up, bargaining it away, or who simply failed to take the correct action for the sake of expediency, are removed from football for good.

The £1m Chairman

“If MA is on the ball, he will call for a GM and ask the questions around what the Company did to satisfy its duties to shareholders that allowing a convicted criminal to become chairman was the correct judgement ….and to pass a motion that NO ONE with Criminal Convictions should ever be allowed any say in the running of the club or hold office…..lets see what happens, I believe there were rumours that a GM was being sought….hopefully it will be held while Glib & Shameless is serving at Her Majesties Pleasure.”

The foreword is from Gordo. I can confirm that there will be a general meeting on November 27 at The Clyde Auditorium. This is somewhat earlier than other meetings in previous years, but as we are fully aware there is a distinct possibility that our criminal chairman will be imprisoned at his contempt of court hearing on 9 December. The fact that King is currently bound over for another contempt of court conviction, in South Africa, has escaped the notice of the SMSM. He was sentenced to three months imprisonment, suspended for three years. Holding an AGM when your chairman is in prison would be hard to spin as a positive.

Of course there could be another reason for this meeting. A document was circulated that purported to be a request for an EGM. If the resolutions tabled at the meeting on 27 November includes two resolutions from Ashley, we will know that the shyster board are killing two birds with one stone.

Ashley is holding King up to public scrutiny. He has been exposed as a lying charlatan with no appreciable wealth. An individual bound over by a suspended sentence. These facts will be in the public domain as of December 9 at The High Courts of Justice. King’s defence will be paid by Rangers. The previous injunction on King and his puppet board cost circa £400,000 as costs were awarded to Sports Direct. The forthcoming trial, should it include a substantial fine, will escalate the costs of defending our criminal chairman to circa £1m. Even if he has contributed £1.5m in soft loans, which I do not accept, the bulk of this amount will be spent defending his stupidity. It takes a special brand of stupidity to be tried for contempt of court while convicted of contempt of court. Mr King evidently has no regard for the law in South Africa and the UK. The stupidity of the shareholders who voted for King on March 6 will no doubt continue on November 27.

King is tabling a resolution to remove Ashley’s voting rights. If he succeeds, Ashley will take him to court again. Ashley has an agreement with the SFA to limit his shareholding to 10%. He has not exercised his right to appoint two directors. There is no justifiable case to strip him of his voting rights as he does not have undue influence. King is attempting to silence his opposition with an illegal ruse. A ruse that will be challenged at The High Courts of Justice.

If King’s stupidity continues unchecked, his costs of litigation, when added to those of Green, could exceed the £2.5m in emergency funding that has been raised by Mr Taylor and Mr Letham.

King squandered £50m of his ill-gotten gains on legal fees. He found it amusing to take on The South African Revenue Service in the full knowledge that every Rand he spent in his defence was one less Rand that they could collect.

He is now engaged in a war with a billionaire. There will only be one inevitable outcome. Ashley is going to wipe the floor with King. The club could be the collateral damage.

I look forward to the excuses of the four existing members of the SFA  board who voted for King should he be imprisoned.