“No Man Is An Island” – Blair Morgan, Football Agent – by Brogan, Rogan, Trevino and Hogan

The always excellent BRTH has written another of his lyrical posts. mick was good enough to link to it in the comments, but I think BRTH usually deserves a post of his own.

Readers might have seen it as a comment on the Scottish Football Monitor or CQN, but I think his thoughts deserve the widest of cicrulations.

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It was the poet John Donne who came away with the phrase ” No Man is an Island”. Interestingly the lines were not originally intended to be a poem, but were written by Donne in his ” Meditations” and were intended as prose rather than poetry.

Fittingly, they are taken from ” Devotions on an Emergent occasion”

Donne was an interesting character. He was borne a Roman Catholic but later became an Anglican Priest and a Doctor of Divinity, became the Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral and was a Royal Chaplain. He was also a qualified Barrister having studied at Thavies Inns Legal School and later he was the Reader of Divinity at Lincoln’s Inn. He was the Member of Parliament for Brackley from 1602 onwards for a number of years. He had been a soldier, fighting with Walter Raleigh and the Earl of Essex at Cadiz, and before settling down to this well recorded life of divinity and respectability he managed to blow his considerable inheritance on wine women and travel.

However it was his marriage to Anne More in 1601 which earned him a stay in Prison ( along with the man who performed the marriage and the chief witness ) as the marriage went ahead without the Bride’s father’s permission– and he just happened to be the Lieutenant of the Tower of London! Using his Legal skills, Donne eventually proved the validity of his marriage and secured his release whereupon he wrote to his wife: ” John Donne: Anne Done, Un-Done” as although he was released the marriage cost him his career!

As a result, Donne had to scrape a rather meagre living as a lawyer– his parliamentary duties being unpaid– and it was not until he reconciled with his father in law in 1609 that he received his wife’s dowry and so improved his financial situation. He , his wife and family of 10 children, had a reasonably miserable existence, and it was the patronage of his writing and his clerical appointments that gave the Donne family a degree of comfort.

Of course there are many people who train as lawyers– be it as Barristers or Advocates as they are known in Scotland– or alternatively as solicitors. Advocates tend to be thought of as far grander than solicitors in many respects. There have been many Barristers or Advocates who have wandered into politics and reached the very top of the political tree, however there has only ever been one solicitor to become Prime Minister– and that was David Lloyd George.

Solicitors are much more men ( or women ) of business than their Advocate counterparts. They are the business merchants of the legal profession. Perhaps the solicitor is that branch of the profession which would be regarded as having Sharp Elbows when it comes to commercial matters. John Donne does not strike as the kind of meditative man who would be suited to the role of a “man of business”!

So, it is against this background that one stops to consider the recent report by Messrs Harper McLeod Solicitors on behalf of the SPL into the question of dual contracts. Harper Macleod are very well versed in both sports law and indeed in civil and commercial litigation. To be blunt, they will know a contract- or indeed two — when they see them– and they will be sharp about it.

I therefore wonder what they thought of the comments from Sir David Murray the other day? His assertion that there was no deception; that the EBT’s were all above board and legal; that the loan agreements contained specific repayment dates, interest provisions and so on. I wonder if that accords with their initial findings?

As we know, all the evidence will be considered by an independent commission, and a quick check of the SPL rules shows that any such Commission has very wide powers of enquiry with the ability to ask for all sorts of records and documents, and to cite just about anyone they chose!

I wonder, if in enquiring into this situation, the Independent Commission will consider requesting the presence of any of the players’ agents so that they can get their evidence as to what was and what was not agreed. We have already heard Billy Dodds and indeed Alec McLeish spout forth that all contractual matters were dealt with by their “Agents”.

Well, Agents have to be Licensed with the SFA– and yes, yet again it is our old SFA friends who have the licensing function to oversee proper conduct on the part of agents. What will the SFA have to say if properly Licensed and regulated agents embroiled their clients in what turns out to be an illegal tax avoidance scheme?

There are many agents, but one whose point of view will be of great interest to anyone who follows this saga will be Blair Morgan. Like Lloyd George, Blair Morgan is a qualified solicitor who has acted for many of the players in this saga. He has represented Alec McLeish, Graham Souness, Walter Smith, Neill McCann, Craig Moore, Gavin Rae and many more. He has been in partnership in the past with Trevor Stephen and has employed former players like Craig Moore and Derek Whyte as consultants.

Mr Morgan was previously a Director of Dunfermline FC and has himself sat on SFA committees. He is very well versed on sports matters and has gained a very high reputation in the market place– acting for clubs such as Celtic, and many players beyond Scotland.

Yesterday– RTC stated in a tweet that Blair Morgan had in fact written on behalf of Alec McLeish asking whether or not interest was due on an overdue EBT payment– thus highlighting the fact that these payments were in fact contractual contrary to the musings of Sir David Murray. I also suspect that if Mr Morgan was asked by his clients to draw up letters of indemnity in favour of his clients in respect of the EBT tax position and the financial obligations on the part of Rangers PLC, then he will have done so in the most proper legal fashion and will all his professionalism and experience! As I recall, at least one of the letters of indemnity starts with the words— ” On behalf of the Board of Directors of Rangers PLC…..”.

Below are a number of articles and interviews with Blair Morgan which show that he conducts all of his business on behalf of his clients with his solicitor’s hat on at all times and that he has in the past had cause to have discussions with Sir David Murray on matters of business. He has represented many clients and appears at times to have crossed swords with other agents who are not qualified in the law.

Perhaps the enquiry should simply put Sir David Murray’s most recent statements to Blair Morgan and ask him for his comments about his clients being liable to repay loans on a given date, and the reasoning behind any letters of indemnity that he was asked to draw up in connection with EBT payments. I also wonder what he was told would be– or should be– registered with the football authorities by Rangers PLC.

Obviously, Mr Morgan would not necessarily be the only legally qualified agent from whom any of those mentioned in the EBT scandal may have taken advice, however he is one of those who is in a unique position to shed a considerable amount of light on exactly what was agreed between whom and why……… always presuming that he acted on behalf of the clients named in connections with their contracts with Rangers PLC.

From the information available, Sir David Murray may well have a very different interpretation of the paperwork concerned from legal chaps like Blair Morgan who will have professionally advised on such paperwork in the best interests of his clients. I would seriously doubt that such an experienced solicitor in this field would advise his clients to enter into any type of long term spurious loan agreement with a third party as part of any agreement between his client and Rangers PLC.

If there are a number of other legally qualified or Licensed agents who all say the same thing, then Sir David may well find himself isolated– even from the likes of Walter Smith and Alec McLeish.

Then again– Sir David can take refuge in the words of John Donne– who stressed that no man is an island– although Donne was making the point that the actions and behaviour of each individual will have consequences for us all further down the line… and perhaps his final words will not be the most welcome right enough!

No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thine own
Or of thine friend’s were.
Each man’s death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.

http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Blair+Morgan’s+Diary%3B+TOP+agent+Blair+Morgan+may+be+a+fanatical…-a074329327

http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Football%3A+Wee+Tam+faces+secret+agent+rap.-a060226605

http://www.journalonline.co.uk/Magazine/44-10/1001068.aspx

http://www.dunfermlinepress.com/articles/2/22064?mode=print

Posted by Brogan, Rogan, Trevino and Hogan

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80 Comments

Filed under Guest Posts, Rangers

80 responses to ““No Man Is An Island” – Blair Morgan, Football Agent – by Brogan, Rogan, Trevino and Hogan

  1. mick

    what a read am doing cat wheels its the back drop to the ebt,s ,its something msm would never tell us .its bravo bravo

  2. mick

    thanks Paul this is great we never here about the men behind the deals its just the player we get and not the admin behind him its amazing read

  3. Loved this insight Paul it makes me feel glad that I get my information here and not from the dodo-dailies.

    • mick

      @DOMBHOY am the same m8 the papers are well conning us with lies to show apprietiation stop buying the tabloids ,it will save you money and you will save a tree and a rain forest spicies to so its a win win your brian grows here to ,TCN will allow you to follow footie so you wont miss anything ,the scottish print indusrty is over it will soon be the same for books and paper scotlands going microchip ,the only paper in the future will be grease for baking other than that a dont see a use for it in the digital age .

  4. Ruckcroft7

    No man is an island… Apart from Fred Madagascar

  5. Soairse

    Not very well written. And, no, I am not a Rangers fan.

    • mick

      @Soairse its ok your views dont make you a sevco fan are you miss ronan lol your names well nice

    • Albert

      No, I think that it was well written.

      Did you mean that you disagree with it? It’s certainly open to criticism, as is much on here, but I thought that it was a clever piece.

      • mick

        its the back drop to the ebts albert what a read and its well sweet to debate a think its going to be all the suits spiting the dummy trying to save there selfs its going to be fun watching it unfold

    • Whit? It was beautifully written – what’s your problem?

    • Project Walliams

      A fanatical Dumferline supporter perhaps?

    • ecojon

      @Soairse

      You obviously haven’t noticed but here comment is from supporters of ANY club. What can be tiresome is really facile circular statements of paranoia usually from a certain section of the Rangers support. They are also easily identified by their sweeping statements and lack of any facts or even whiff of corroboration.

      You are entitled to your view that the piece was ‘Not very well written’. What disappoints me is that there is no indication of why or how you came to that conclusion. If it is merely because of the writing style then I don’t really think anyone here is interested in style too much. They judge on the information contained in the article and the arguments advanced.

      Should you ever decide to submit a guest article for consideration then I promise that if it is put-up by Paul I will read the content with interest and make jusdgements on it without worrying too much about style.

    • gersfan

      @ Soairse, Its for all fans to get the truth about wrong doing ,Theres lots of rangers fans read this blog ,Fans from all round the world read it ,it does not matter what team you support here its for sharing info for the good of football in scotland .

  6. mick

    can bdo ask for the money back for small creditors that to me makes sence ,if its a loan they have to pay the liquadator who in turn would put it in the creditors pot ,if not a loan then the taxman will get his money from it via hitting them all with a bill for no declaring the ebt

  7. Glazert Tim

    Very insightful piece and as others have posted, would never appear in the MSM in a month of Sunday (Mails).

    I have to admit I was quite surprised SDM came out on the subject. However, when you have had decades of having the papers hang on your every word and offer their unflinching support, it’s easy to slip into automatic mode and expect ‘Operation Turd Polish’ to commence.

    When I read his transcript it reminded me of the Little Britain parody of Barbara Cartland. An old Lady sitting dictating unadulterated pish to a eagerly waiting typist, mouthing random words found in a romantic novel, padding with etc etc blah blah and such “Just fill in the blanks love!”, creating ten novels a week.

    Fast forward to 2012 and ‘Little Govan’ with Barbara Murray giving it to KJ and HK “Deny cheating …….blah not on my watch…… blah perfectly legal….. Just fill in the blanks Hugh /Chick/Jim/Hugh …..like you always do/did!”

    As each day passes it becomes more outlandish and surreal, like an episode of Twin Peaks.

    We always finish a week by saying the final staw is coming, the end is nigh, Tesco draws nearer but it never seems to come.

    However, if like Twin Peaks, Charlie Green calls a press conference at Murray Park and it’s decked out with Red velvet walls, Kyle McLachlan is at the mike and Chick Young is waddling about like a midget and speaking backwards, we know the last episode has arrived.

    • ecojon

      @Glazert Tim

      If you think Twin Peaks is outlandish and surreal then you’ve led a sheltered life :)

      • Glazert Tim

        I though it was. We are talking about the David Lynch Twin Peaks or are you thinking about the Jordan documentary on Sky Living Eco?

      • ecojon

        @Glazert Tim

        Well, what can I say but I would normally have to give any documentary by Jordan top prize for surreal and I haven’t even seen it.

        But as to Twin Peaks you are a Professor, Sir! I do admit that I only watched some of it back in the day 20+ years ago and obviously missed a helluva lot of the sub-plots. So I did a reprise at: n.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twin_Peaks and thank them for the opportunity to remodel their copy.

        I will just pick a few phrases that jumped out with regard to Rangers and EBTs and of course my series is entitled ‘Twin Teams’ – a story of two teams: One who did and one who didn’t.

        The story setting is a small fictional Scottish town of Ayebroke where the WATP soccer team played supported by its devoted cult fan base who had a strange fascination for washing their feet in blood.

        Exteriors were primarily filmed in the broken-down tumbleweed Murray Palladium as well as a network of secret underground connections Additional exteriors were shot in a Wine Alley carpark. Most of the interior scenes were shot by standing on seats inside the Ayebroke Hall of Heroes where silver mugs used to be displayed for what proved to be a limited period only.

        Red cards from Scottish football fan’s led to Pieman McCoist insisting that the identity of Laura’s murderer be revealed midway through the second half of the season and from there on in it was transparent that the only way was down.

        But a revival from a much decimated WATP sparked enough interest to spawn a prequel, the film ‘One Team: Don’t Walk with Me’ which was a commercial failure in Scotland but amazingly a success in Japan where a group of mystery WATP investors are never broke these days.

        As with much of Chairman M’s other work (notably Blue Velvet Touch and Where has all the Money Gone), ‘One Team’ explored the gulf between the veneer of small-town respectability and the seedier layers of life lurking beneath Ayebroke. As the series progresses, characters who first appeared innocent are revealed to lead-double lives as EBT Agents and mystery investors, thus exposing their darkness and the conflict of interest at work.

        One Peak isn’t easily placed within an established genre. Although its unsettling colour changes from White to Green and supernatural features are consistent with horror films. But it is also a morality tale and its campy melodramatic portrayal of quirky characters, engaged in morally dubious financial activities, reflects a bizarrely comical parody of Canary Wharf & the Stock Exchange. All that’s missing so far is a connection to Libor.

        In the surreal soap opera the main player hides behind his starring role as a snake oil salesman. But by night he flits ceaselessly from one safe house to another trying to avoid some of the WATP fanbase who want to ‘starve’ him out of Ayebrokes.

        And the ending – The One team that didn’t – Triumphed of course :)

  8. mick

    @glazart tim tesco is a viable option to the investors thats well the broken arrow call as the yanks say in time of need

  9. Bob

    If the facts are as you suggest some people, the SFA in particular, may wish to know why Mr Blair Morgan, lovely chap that he is, was a party to a contract which he knew from the outset would involve the illegal registration of a player.

    • ecojon

      @Bob

      Don’t know that you can make the leap you have. Whatever arrangements Mr Morgan made on behalf of his client could well have been legal. It might be that what followed is found by the Commission to have involved illegal registration of players. And no doubt the Commission will want to interview and possibly question Mr Morgan.

      Unyil then and until they reach a conclusion on the matter I believe that it is unfair to fabricate a ‘meaning’ from the article which just isn’t there.

      Of course, if you know more about the ‘facts’ that allows you to make this statement then please share your knowledge with us.

  10. Thanks you BRTH – lovely read. Should keep that in the back pocket in case someone (!) tries to mount a defence along the lines of ‘the agents made us do it’.

    The fact is that there is officially a ‘case to answer’, which there would NOT be if there was no evidence found of dual contracts. I assume the judgement will be over whether those contracts were disclosed officially (methinks they were disclosed to certain people at governing bodies but not put on the record, which would explain a lot of the recent ‘gallusness’ from Green’s side – and of course mean ‘squeaky bum time’ for some people).

    This will drag on for a while, probably beyond the time when Mr Green’s pot has anything left in it and the team will be back to administration – that is, for the newco, as the liquidators will have already started their work on the carcass of the old one, which in itself could get quite messy for a lot of people.

    After a few months (I expect), we’ll all get a bit bored with it, as happens with long-running ‘big stories’. I expect also that the actual football team will have a few upheavals, given the above, as the club struggles to pay players signed on silly wages for fourth-tier football. Hopefully this will eventually see a lot of young Scottish players getting the necessary blooding they need. They’ll settle down to the level they’re at, and will be sideshow to the rest of football, for a couple of years anyway.

    Meanwhile, SPL football clubs will be just playing football and finding that it’s not so bad without Rangers after all. Celtic for example have just replaced a lot of the missing revenue by qualifying for the group stages of the Champions League. Also, the two new additions to the SPL are on a great adventure and seem to be buoyant enough – and got there without budgeting for a few visits from Rangers anyway (and have their own derbies to look forward to). Other clubs have the carrot of more revenue from doing well – and the sensible ones will cut their cloth to suit the new realities, s they have no choice.

    Should be a good season. Looking forward to it.

    • “Celtic for example have just replaced a lot of the missing revenue by qualifying for the group stages of the Champions League”

      Did they get a pass this morning or what not? Last time i checked they still had another couple of games to play before that was sorted, no? ;-)

  11. @Kenny McCaffrey. Just a small correction. Celtic have just qualified for the Play-Off Round – the Round BEFORE the Group Stage, although they did indeed receive extra income as a result.

  12. Robert D Bruce

    Can anyone enlighten me please?

    When RFC players were paid from a “trust fund” does that “trust fund” constitute part of RFC plc assets or is it a separate entity?

    If it is part of RFC plc assets and SDM is in fact correct that there are loan periods and repayments to be made, however far in the future, the it is surely incumbent upon Duff and Duffer to identify these assets on behalf of the creditors and renegotiate repayment schedules in order that everyone receives what is due to them. If Duff and Duffer are complicit in a cover up or are incompetent then the duty to investigate this will now surely fall to BDO.

    If the trust is a separate entity, devolved from RFC plc then I’d expect that HMRC are on the case regarding these matters and should be scrutinising the tax returns for everyone at Ibrox in the period to establish whether there has been a material benefit gain from being in receipt of an interest free loan.

    While I found the piece by BRTH very interesting and entertaining I couldn’t help feeling throughout that Blair Morgan may be a man who has all the answers and if he doesn’t, I think his reputation both here in Scotland and throughout Europe may suffer greatly. To be so closely involved with even a handful of the people involved with this EBT affair and never question the legality of any payments made out with contracts submitted to the SFA would constitute (Paul Please?) gross negligence.

    It appears to me that either RFC plc were in breach of the SFA rules and remunerated players using dual contracts or at least letters of comfort or that many RFC plc former players will be checking their bank accounts to see if they can afford the loan repayments and tax bills headed in their direction.

    • good with numbers

      @robert great point d&p should be chasing the money ,its a loan and as such should be called in for small creditors ???would the dbo have power to play that card ???

    • ecojon

      @Robert D Bruce

      The problem that I see with the matter is that without seeing the actual documentation it is impossible to give definitive answers to a lot of the interesting questions you pose.

      I have to assume that HM from the documentation they have seen were able to reach a professional opinion that there was prima facie evidence of a breach of football rules and that is why the Commission is now underway.

      Of course, whatever the outcome of the Commission, that doesn’t affect the HMRC case and I would think that Hector has probably more documentation than HM and also has the ability to frighten the sh*t out of people it questions even if theyr are totally innocent.

      The problem for anyone who may have set-up or operated an illegal EBT is that the ‘knowledge’ pool spreads way beyond the ‘master-minds’. This means there is a large amount of people who will be quite willing to co-operate fully with HMRC for receiving immunity from the consequences.

      And, as always, in this kind of situation it is better to be in at the start in terms oif co-operation as you get a better deal. Once HMRC have enough to prove their case the rest will be hung out to dry. And it’s often the seemingly hard-nuts that are the first to crack in these situations.

      So, I would be very surprised if HMRC don’t come up with a ‘result’ in this case. Whether the same is true of the Commission is a bit more problematic IMHO as they don’t have the legal powers of HMRC nor, more importantly, the psychological warfare element.

      • mick

        @ecojon great point jon they will all stick each other in for a lighter sentance ,Am loving this its the thing we have been waiting for who done the deals and who knew it was wrong the 1s in the know killed the club

      • Robert D Bruce

        Ecojon,

        You said quite correctly;
        And it’s often the seemingly hard-nuts that are the first to crack in these situations.

        I think SDM has blinked first if not cracked. By insisting that the payments made were loans and or discretionary payments, he may find he has invited trouble quicker than he would have cared to have seen it.

        If ex players, managers and officials now think they have to repay the money in order to save RFC’s titles then we may see where their loyalties lie.
        Repayment of the money may not be enough to save the jerseys however, as the payments should have been declared as part of the players football contracts in any case. All remuneration received in the pursuance of their trade must be declared and HM clearly think that some of the payments made to players was paid because of their on field performances.

        What a double whammy if the tribunal find the evidence of double contracts holds up then strip RFC of titles and cups AND the ex employees have to pay back the “loans”. Maybe, just maybe, justice will be served.

  13. @Kenny McCaffrey. P.S. should Celtic fail to qualify for the Group Stage of the Champions League, they will be in the Group Stage of the Europa League. So, nearly right.

  14. mick

    its henriks country its being billed as lasrrsonfest day lol no matter what the score it will be good for both clubs to celebrate a legend

    • ecojon

      @mick

      I never ever think of Henrik without a smile coming to my face – what a footballer, what a consummate professional.

  15. mick

    @ ecojon me to its the best draw ever he will be in glasgow for the game maybe there will be a new henrik comes out of the match that would be good,funny 3 billioniares are on route to glasgow to save sevco, stealing the media lime light lol

  16. Good Morning,

    One of the points about the article above and the links referred to is that this whole scenario is set to embroil any number of people far beyond the players and the representatives of the club. Where it takes them?– God alone knows.

    Blair Morgan retired– or at least stood back from his business in 2008 I believe. However, prior to that he operated across Europe in the football world, and as he says himself, much of his work came from England, where, at the bigger clubs at least EBT’s were commonplace at one time.

    I am sure that he would have looked into EBT’s in his professional capacity, and like many before him, have been told, and even concluded, that EBT’s properly operated are– or at least were– a legal way of rewarding employees on a non remunerative & non contractual basis.

    So far we have heard from some players who say that they left everything to their agents. Yet others- whose names I cannot recall– have indicated that they were not keen on the EBT idea– or that their agents were not keen– only to be told by Rangers that it was their way or the Highway. If I recall correctly, one player– actually sacked their agent under such circumstances and paddled his own canoe.

    It is entirely possible that guys like Blair Morgan negotiated the basic contract and simply advised the clients that Rangers employed an EBT scheme over and above the contracts– but whatever those arrangements were had nothing to do with the agent. That, however, seems unlikely.

    It is much more likely that for whatever reason, Rangers entered into a series of contracts and side letters which together made up the entire contractual package, and that agents like Blair Morgan had Rangers PLC sign absolutely tight and binding disclaimers and indemnities which were designed to protect his clients from any future liability should the tax man come calling.

    What was perhaps completely unforseen was the perfect storm that has since engulfed Rangers PLC— from the Big Tax Case right down to the shannanigans of Craig Whyte. With Rangers PLC now going into Liquidation, any such indemnities and guarantees are now worthless unless they are personally guaranteed by someone like Murray and I doubt he would have agreed to that.

    However, key amongst the statements from Murray is the peddled notion that all these guys obtained loans and that they are all due to pay the money back with interest! I can only imagine that everyone who is named so far as being an EBT beneficiary– and remember so far all but Billy Dodds appears to have had to “apply” to receive any money at all– will have been on like a shot to their agents and lawyers to make absolutely sure that Sir David is talking the utmost mince!!!

    I don’t expect for a minute that any player is going to admit that he “borrowed” the money that was paid via the EBT and is due to pay it back.

    So why don’t the press— Traynor, Spiers, Chic, Guiidi, Tom English, Mark Daly, Thommo, or anyone else– simply go and ask all the guys named on the list if they accept what David Murray has said and that at some point they will be paying the money back to the trust?

    It is a simple question. Yes or No?

    No doubt– most will refuse to answer or will cite their agents as the font of all knowledge and at that they can go and ask guys like Blair Morgan and Trevor Steven etc.

    They in turn may cite client confidentiality and stay schtum.

    However, where does any such confidentiality lie in the face of an SPL enquiry?

    In the event of a criminal investigation, there is no such thing as client confidentiality— you cannot hide behind that.

    Further the SPL, can demand all papers from anyone relating to a players contract or their renumeration.

    A liquidator can bring a civil claim, set out what appears to be a prima facie case that the renumeration was paid and that there is tax outstanding– and then hey presto– someone is going to have to speak out to save their own skin.

    Was the Murray press release a first shot? Was he saying ” Look all of this is above board and there is no tax to pay! BUT in the event of the scheme being improperly administered and so attracting tax, don’t just come knocking on my door– all these players signed docs saying that they borrowed money, that they agreed to pay it back plus interest, and in that way there is no tax due on money that is contractually repayable!”

    If the trustees were so biddable– and remember that they did the bidding of MIH as well as Rangers– for all we know, Murray could have them
    ( the trustees ) seek repayment– or offer terms for early repayment.

    I appreciate that under all other circumstances none of these so called loans are normally repaid– but David Murray is staring down the barrell of a gun here– as he could be faced with a demand for the vast majority of the sums due by Rangers PLC to HMRC. I am not aware of circumstances where such a famously wealthy man has faced such potential personal ruin.

    However, what I am certain of, is that under such circumstances, Murray will try to ensure that anyone who has so far escaped taxes will not be allowed to walk away scot free while he is left holding the baby!!!

    If that then means holding former players and managers to signed contractual documents that no one thought would ever see the light of day again then so be it.

    The players and managers would then have to get on to their agents and ask where the hell they stand and at that point it is every man for themselves given the sums involved.

    Remember that Billy Dodds stated that he was asked personally by Sir David Murray if he would accept payment through the EBT. Dodds in turn says he left everything to his agent– on the understanding that the tax had in fact been paid on his settlement.

    Stop and think about that– as the two statements are neither mutually exclusive nor smack of falsehood. Dodds is saying-” Hey I was told that Rangers had paid the tax–and I left it to my legally appointed agent to make sure it was so! If the tax has not been paid, then Rangers are in breach of their agreement ( per David Murray personally ) with me and they should pay it. If they now can’t pay it, and Murray isn’t paying it, and I am then asked to pay it– then I will consider my position but I have a claim against my agent as he should never have left me in such a position!”

    All agents are insured– or have to have a bond with the SFA. At one point, that bond had to be for £100,000– I don’t know what it stands at today— but given the sums of money involved here– there is every possibility that the insurances and bonds would not cover the damage.

    As I have said before– the FTT decision– will unleash such a firestorm and such a series of possibilities and consequences— that the vast majority of those involved, those reporting, and those observing have have so far never even seen those consequences coming let alone considered what to do with them when they arrive.

    The Liquidator is coming– with the sole purpose of chasing people for the outstanding tax– and anyone who thinks that the guys in the firing line are going to hesitate in using all and any arguments to save their own bacon, or as much of their own bacon as possible, are deluding themselves.

    • ecojon

      @Brogan Rogan Trevino and Hogan

      What you say all seems sound as a taxed pound to me.

      A small point is the Agent Bond: I believe that is likley to be by way of an yearly insurance premium which would be quite hefty but not as sore as lodging £100,000 in cash.

      The problem with the insurance bond for an agent is that if the insurer detects a whiff of illegality then they won’t pay-out, And even if they lost a test case on that in court I feel sure that there would be a claim restriction limit under the policy so I really doubt if it would cover all of the potential claims that could land on an agent if he had a reasonable stable of players.

      But I don’t know that HMRC would be that bothered in pursuing foreign players who have played here and have now left the country. But these players would be an ideal group for HMRC to recruit as witnesses against EBT organisers and administraors as they have little or nothing to lose not living and working in the UK – a nice little tax exemption in return for giving Queen’s Evidence would save them a lot of hassle.

      • Ecojohn

        Others elsewhere still think that the agent requirement is a bond of £100k or an insurance policy to that value — which is shockingly low!

        Yes I agree that the insurance policy would be the way to go– if you can find an insurer! Solicitors accountants and the like will find that easier than the non professionals such as ex players– and certainly some guys did lodge the cash bond in days gone by as appropriate insurance was just not available to them. Others covered it by obtaining a bank guarantee which was then provided to the SFA as surety.

        I am not sure that HMRC will pursue any of the players at all. I think they will come to the doors of Murray, Bain, Dickson, Johnston, McClelland & Co– and beyond these go to the managers as potential “shadows” let alone EBT beneficiaries!

        They may well have some of the beneficiaries give evidence– and some may volunteer information through solicitors and accountants in return for either immunity or escaping a tax investigation.

        It is Murray who I would be worried about. It is he who is bleating that there are loans to be repaid, and it is he who may well argue that at the end of the day he personally has had to pay tax on behalf of players who have to reimburse him in respect of debts— or repay loans which they signed up for and which are documented.

        There are of course all sorts of problems with that. How do you get a court to enforce an illegal scheme and unlawful contracts? This was precisely the problem Saul Campbell faced with Portsmouth who refused to pay the later payments he was allegedly due.

        Campbell went to court– and apparently POrtsmouth took the stand that he was trying to get the courts to enforce a tax scheme which was illegal and so winning would only result in a court confirming that he was party to that illegality.

        As far as I know, Saul just folded his cards and abandoned his court action as he wanted nothing to do with that argument!!!

        As I say– the fall out from this could be never ending!

      • Andy

        @Paul McConville

        Can you please clarify a point for me here of the back of SDM statement and some other users comments.

        - If SDM is declaring that the payments are loans then technically they couldn’t be seen as payments for sporting appearances, merely an employers loan effectively? Thus meaning as they are loans, Rangers would not have technically broken any rules as it is a loan not a payment for playing?

        - If they are loans, then they must be on the books as a debtor I assume, and therefore BDO would and probably should have already pursued those debtors for the full loan + interest + tax, as the tax only becomes liable at point of repayment.

        They would ultimately fail to collect from those players no longer employed or whom have origins in this country, however could potentially recover some funds with respect of say Barry Ferguson, who was ‘loaned’ £6m from the scheme.

        This being the proper manner in which the scheme should be unwound, then BDO should then have £X amount in the pop from players to settle with creditors.

        (Players may choose to sue agents for putting them in this position I can assume, but ultimately that is a seperate legal battle).

        At this stage would BDO have powers to sue SDM or any other RFC directors at the time for the difference lost (having take all reasonable steps to collect the debt themselves) for not properly administering the scheme, or are they off scot free due to the governance of the scheme being that of the RFC the company?

        It would appear the SPL investigation appears rather superfluous in the grander scheme of things, as this looks like it could take years to unravel with plenty of legal battles in the mix….I would also suspect that any English club who had used EBT will be very quickly ‘losing’ all documentary evidence..

      • ecojon

        @Andy

        yawn yawn Why don’t you hire a top QC?

  17. mick

    @ Brogan Rogan Trevino and Hogan great post. Just when we thought it was nearly over up pops the ebt tax scam. A feel at the end of this it will be kaos and all the friendships will be well out the window to safe guard there nest eggs a just hope the msm report it and its not left to guys like yourself to inform us.As your well aware glasgow and the uk needs all the tax it can get for services . The bdo is coming at end of month .

  18. Robert D Bruce

    Referring to my post above;

    ………What a double whammy if the tribunal find the evidence of double contracts holds up then strip RFC of titles and cups AND the ex employees have to pay back the “loans”. Maybe, just maybe, justice will be served.

  19. Michael

    Billy Dodds claim that he left everything to his agent and that he was assured that his termination payment was after tax doesn’t wash with me. Like everyone else Billy would receive a P60 at year end and a P45 when he left Rangers employment. These documents would show what he earned and what tax was deducted. The Rangers P45 in particular would be an interesting document. Billy Dodds might well not have seen it but his agent / accountant would have. If Rangers had done something dodgy that the agent / accountant were not aware of, then they would have spotted it at that point. Otherwise they were aware that the P45 did not include all contractual payments and appropriate deductions.

    • ecojon

      @Michael

      I think the thing that really worries Doods is if he is found to have knowingly taken part in anything illegal then I would assume his media career ends.

      • Chriske

        It didn’t stop Martha Stewart. She even filmed her TV show wearing an electronic tag!

      • ecojon

        @Chriske

        Well – something to look forward Dodds in his nice leather anklet – need to be careful the transmitter isn’t set too high or it might affect his brain wave :)

      • Michael

        ecojon,

        There is currently an investigation into Dodds at the BBC. Since that started he has hardly been off the Radio. BBC Scotland are fighting back and don’t like being dictated to.

        They are missing the point. Dodds did not pay tax on his termination payment and should not be employed by a broadcaster funded from the public purse. The fact he lied to the audience and his fellow broadcasters when he claimed to know nothing about EBTs doesn’t matter now. He is being paid through the public purse yet hasn’t paid all taxes due. I look forward to HMRC pursuing those individual who haven’t paid their taxes.

        Another one who needs to start worrying is John McClelland. If the FTT rules that the Rangers EBTs were illegal then he will have been in breach of the Scottish Government Code of Conduct for Members of Devolved Public Bodies. I await the findings of the FTT with interest.

  20. mick

    billy dodds was first to break the silence paul done a topic on it,gorden smith and ogilvie have a lot to answer to as they held high profile jobs at sfa while it was happening its shock after shock

  21. mick

    The full story is that David Murray came to me and asked if I would receive a payment that was due to me, after tax, through the EBT trust. And I said that I would. It was money that was owing to me when I had six months left on my contract and I moved to Dundee United. After the tax was deducted, that money was put in the trust fund.billys own words they conned billy can billy sue murray for stress of it all and tainting his name ????

  22. ecojon

    SFL chief executive confirms Rangers’ League Cup wins will remain

    http://sport.stv.tv/football/clubs/rangers/128091-sfl-chief-executive-confirms-rangers-league-cup-wins-will-remain/

    However speaking after the draw for the second round of the League Cup, Longmuir said: “We [The Scottish Football League] are very comfortable with the position we have adopted. “The history of Rangers is appropriately described on the SFL website.”

    He added: “We are quite comfortable with the way we are treating the history of Rangers.” Longmuir also revealed that fourth officials will be present for televised matches involving Ally McCoist’s side this season.

    He added: “We can have fourth officials at any game. Up until now, we haven’t had to deploy them. But I think that given the renewed interest in the Third Division, particularly the televised games, a fourth official would be a useful addition. It would give the referee support.”

    The ref must have missed Green clapping then!

  23. ecojon

    Interesting piece:

    “However, Beattie will not be heading to Ibrox. Chief executive Charles Green held discussions with the striker’s agent but refused to up Rangers’ initial offer. Beattie knocked back that deal because it was heavily weighted on appearance money and the move was killed stone-dead yesterday.”

    So, I wonder how many more of the triallists are on ‘appearance money’ deals which can often lead to fall outs.

  24. Andy

    I don’t think BDO will take the stance you envisage.

    First of all the payments were made by an off shore trust– a completely separate legal entity to the one that they are the Liquidators of.

    Secondly– their first port of call will be on the Directors and others responsible for the failure of Rangers PLC. It is those people who will be chased for the losses.

    If those Directors then want to seek relief against anyone then they can. Alternatively, they may– and I stress may– just argue that as the tax they are being asked to pay, has been deemed by the FTT as tax due on income paid to x number of former employees of Rangers FC– then those employees should be stumping up for the tax.

    Alternatively, they may stick to their guns, rely on the documentation and state that the payments were loans and as such are non taxable– although that is really rehashing the argument before the FTT. However, in furthering that argument, if they were capable of persuading the trustees of the trust to claim the money back– or even confirm that these are in fact loans and that all of those players are due to pay the money back– then that might take them somewhere.

    However, will the players agree to that if asked to confirm by BDO or anyone else?

    Wait until the detail comes out in the wash with the FTT decision– although BDO of course will have been given all of that detail by now in any event– either by HMRC or by dint of being the liquidators of Rangers PLC.

  25. mick

    bdo take public calls via a press office if any1 has info that can help there process all you do is call the london office and they sent to the aproprate desk its not like glasgow were there reluctant to get involved.they seem well nutreal in it all .there very nice and obligion on any issue related to them

  26. charliedon

    @ecojon

    It’s not only worrying for Doddsy that his media career might end. We should all worry. The loss to Scottish journalism of his honed investigative skills and keen analytical mind would be devastating and could never be adequately replaced. But do not despair, we can still read the balanced and impartial opinions of Craig Burley to maintain the particular role of the former player turned newshound.

  27. mick

    @charliedon burleys the token tim at msm .When you look at the msm they just look out dated in a modern universal scotland moving forward they have no place now in our game and they know it .

  28. mick

    just flicking throw the sites thier related to the topics and seen this cracking article thought a would share it with yous .what a read bravo bravo
    http://scottishfootballmonitor.wordpress.com/2012/08/10/whatever-happened-to-the-nimmo-smith-report/#comments

  29. ecojon

    ‘Rangers didn’t cheat’: Sir David Murray’s statement in full
    stv.tv‎ – 4 days ago

    Just downloaded that from Google where it comes up when you search for Rangers Football Club.

    And despite being up for four days Murray still hasn’t been questioned or asked for an explanation of his position by the MSM – a disgrace.

    • mick

      @ecojon murray knows his time has come the msm still taste lamb and wine but it doesnt matter what the papers say as the tax man and bdo have the power so its game over for him and no amount of dictatorish press talk can change it ,a hate murray saying spend a fiver for every tenner in a area were there is high unemployment and social kaos is sick that man will root in hell ,what did he do for govan or ibrox nothing just took money and pocketed it ,there is a police case to answer for him a hope soon ,alex ferguson does more in a year for the area that the rfc do in a decade .

  30. charliedon

    mick

    Are you sure Craig Burley is the token Tim? I know he played for the Celts but he was one of most vociferous in the waves of propaganda trying to get Rangers into Div 1. I recall some of his insulting and disgraceful comments about clubs in the SFL, describing them as “nonentities” and the chairmen as “muppets”. That article should never have made it into print, but that’s the MSM for you. I assumed he was in reality yet another “Rangers man”. But please correct me if you know better.

    • mick

      @charliedon a totally agree with you its only celts that side with them that make it in the media and if you were to mention celts in the media they are all full of ex ranger men and each 1 has a celt burley sides with the deluded and has become zombie like as a player he put in a good shift but as a reporter hes not quiet ma cup of tea either ,if your a excelt in the media you have to up set the people that made you great these are my own thoughts and ave thought this for some time

    • ecojon

      @charliedon

      You know I actually don’t have a clue whether he’s a Tim or not. I certainly know of a number of Tims over the years who have had to disguise their religion particularly in the newspaper industry where it was quite common to hire a token Tim in some papers and you would actually be surprised at who the guilty papers were and are not what today would be regarded as the usual suspects.

      Certainly there isn’t any real problem with religion about getting a job in the media nowadays – why should there be, If you are acting in a professional manner it doesn’t matter just as if you active politically.

      The main problem about objectivity in the Scottish Media is that the Scottish ruling elite all operate in a small ‘village’ and it is self-interest that drives and religion is not the barrier it used to be mainly because those pesky Taigs have made it into the upper levels of most professions so they can be useful :)

  31. ecojon

    What a plonker Rangers’ chairman, Malcolm Murray is – talking of Coisty and Green, he said: ‘In keeping with the principles of free speech we will defend the right for people to express their opinions in good faith’.

    I would do exactly the same and I hope that everyone on this site would. But we all know the remark was made in everything but ‘good faith’ and is the type of statement that can lead to violence and civil disturbance.

    What Malcolm Murray should be investigating is who it is that is whispering all this vile bigotry into Green’s ear. They should be identified and barred from Ibrox – yes I’m afraid the choir has to go as well Mr Murray.

    What, there will be nobody left? Well it’s unfortunate that the new beginning promised by Mr Green was just another broken promise then isn’t it?

    I wonder what these Billionaires, that are allegedly being parachuted into Ibrox, would think of Green & Coisty if they knew of their contempt for the safety of fellow citizens and the paranoia being manifested. I wouldn’t give them a 50p never mind a million £.

  32. mick

    @ecojon a lot of people of all walks of lifes have strived to tackle bigotry and green murry and salyy mcc have put it back 20 years they are well out of order and puts innocent people at risk they should be made a example of ,they have lost all respect to sell season tickets total muppets

  33. charliedon

    Unfortunately the bigotry issue presently seems to be getting ramped back up for the most cynical reasons imagineable – to invoke a siege mentality at Ibrox and ultimately to sell tickets. I think this strategy gives an insight into Charles Green’s mindset – a cynical ruthless moneymaker. In McCoist’s case I think it just plain stupidity driven by his desire to boost his growing “legendary” status among the Ibrox masses. I just read the rant by “Leggo” through a link in an earlier post on this site and it really is the most shocking bigotted nonsense I’ve ever read. It contains not one iota of reasoning or evidence etc but is just an ignorant sustained vitriolic attack. Could he not be prosecuted?

    • mick

      @charlie don great point on that leggo hes a evil deluded zombie and if green sticks around long enogh he will become same am going to go over to leggo and try and pin point something a can highlight to the police if you seen anything highlight it and no doubt some 1 will report it ,also it would be worth highlighting to his internet server ,am all for freedom of speech but that guy is just a fool

  34. mick

    hes a joke leggo hes not right in the head you can tell by the photo ,hes the biggest joke on the internet after 2mins on his site a closed the page hes well in need of a roll of toilet paper for all the slapper sxxt coming out of his mouth hes not worth reporting ,give it time his bitterness will give him a heart attack ,bitterness leads to cancer thats why a always try and maintian a level head when dealing with his types hes depressed and blameing celtic
    his cup is halve empty ,even the people he speaks for hate him hes a shambles of a man

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