“Nimmo Smith Blasts Green” … Or Maybe Not…

Lord Nimmo Smith’s Commission has been subject to some rather inconsistent baying and comments which clearly misunderstand what its purpose is after it released its Opinion on the preliminary hearing into the Rangers EBT inquiry.

Whilst it is not unexpected that supporters of the club in question would rail against the possibility of a guilty verdict and an “unfair” punishment, it was surprising (well actually it was not) to see newspapers mis-report the matter. However, I have scooped the press with what is believed to be the only photograph showing Lord Nimmo Smith meeting Mr Green, which can be found at the foot of this piece.

Newspaper headlines referred, for example, to Lord Nimmo Smith “blasting” Charles Green.

There were also complaints voiced about the Commission addressing suggestions of bias, or lack of impartiality, or even the suggestion, unfounded though it would be, that there was impartiality.

I read complaints about the temerity of the Commission making anything public about the case, and even a reference in the Opinion to a hypothetical case of match fixing was put forward as evidence that the Commission had made its mind up already, and was pre-disposed against Rangers.

What the Commission did was entirely consistent with legal practice, and indeed the Commission’s Opinion looked for all the world like a court decision – it read like one too!

One of the great innovations as the court system made t into the 20th century a few years ago (and I know we are in the 21st, but progress can be slow) is the publication of judicial decisions often on the day they are issued. Various websites, official and unofficial, contain judgements issued by judges from the Sheriff Court to the UK Supreme Court. Justice is being seen to be done and the reasoning of the judges is open to scrutiny in many cases. Some of these cases are only important to the parties whilst others have national importance. A common theme is for court cases, where judges make procedural decisions, to be reported as the case proceeds, especially in the Civil law field where it is uncommon, though not unknown, for there to be any risk of prejudicing a jury.

Here we had a procedural hearing in a case of public interest, raising some legal points of note. With the Commission having prepared an Opinion, which is necessary in the event of an Appeal, it made sense to publish it. Transparency and clarity prevailed, and the actions of Rangers and its owner prior to the hearing were laid out for all to see.

For example, the narrative by the Commission suggests Mr Green was mistaken when he said that Rangers’ lawyers had repeatedly sought information from the SPL without reply.

It also made it clear that Rangers oldco, and Rangers newco were both intending to appear at the procedural hearing until the last minute when they both, based on their legal advice, decided not to turn up.

As I said before, it would not avail them much in an appeal on jurisdiction that they had failed to attend a hearing on jurisdiction!

There have also been suggestions that the fact that the Commission addressed the question of bias proves they are biased, as why otherwise would they have thought of the issue? This founders upon the points (a) that it is nonsense and (b) Rangers’ lawyer raised the issue, but then did not repeat it in telling the Commission the preliminary issues.

It seems odd that the lawyers for Rangers is not pursuing the impartiality argument at the same time as Mr Green is making carefully worded attacks on the Commission.

And as for the newspapers…

An exclusive picture of Lord Nimmo Smith meeting Charles Green for the first time

The headlines suggest that Lord Nimmo Smith stormed into a news conference and took on Charles Green like David Haye and Dereck Chisora. Instead, it was a carefully reasoned judgement dealing with all the points relevant to the process so far, and leaving the point brought up prematurely until after there has been a verdict.

It will be interesting to see the PR barrage against the process continuing as we move towards the hearing in November. A cynic might suggest that Rangers, if indeed they are, would be better paying their money to their lawyers and not to their PR men.

Thankfully, we have no cynics here…

Posted by Paul McConville

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61 Comments

Filed under Charles Green, Football, Football Governance, Rangers, SPL

61 responses to ““Nimmo Smith Blasts Green” … Or Maybe Not…

  1. You ve covered it all Paul, as I said on the previous post looks to me like they’ve surrendered and walked away, or maybe they don’t have enough money to fund an expensive legal campaign when they have already received advice telling them they are……………ed, not prejudging any hearing or potential penalty of course.

    • ecojon

      @ michaelk1888

      Have you heard anything about this statement apparently to be released by SFA fairly imminently re EBTs?

      • Nothing verifiable heard rumours over the weekend but can’t imagine why they would want to stick their heads above the parapet now as it will only inflame the current situation add no purpose. I think the Commission report says it all until they meet, if I was advising, ( which I’m not ….:)) them it would be to shut up for the rest of the year…….

        • Budweiser

          I believe that the only purpose in any statement would be to clarify/explain the SFA position regarding the draft 5 way agreement and ‘justify’ the prejudging of EBT’S scenario.

          • ecojon

            @ Budweiser

            But why bother as it doesn’t impinge in the slightest on the work of the Commission. It was something that was being worked on to ‘arrange’ the parachute into SFL1 and when that was thrown out by fan power Rangers walked away and decided to stop playing.

            I bet now the SFA and SPL are p*ssed off at being kicked in the teeth by Rangers after trying to get them into SFL1 and I bet they really really wish they hgadn’t let them into SFL3.

            Hell mend them because they now know the nature of the best they were cosying up to and which has bit them on the ass :)

            • Budweiser

              @ ecojon Totally agree, this was not the spl & sfa’s finest hour. However given the amount of msm coverage of chasboy’s statement and ensuing frothing at the mouths from the ‘rangers media’[ check out the bears den! - " fix " -"crooks" - "judged & sentenced before found guilty" etc etc ]perhaps a statement clarifying their position would be no bad thing.

            • Budweiser

              @ecojon
              Just heard that Bomber Broon will be on ‘Off the ball’ with Cowans and Cosgrove this saturday. Maybe all [or some ] will be revealed!

  2. Macduff

    I thought you would have enjoyed the statement by LNS. I read it and it seemed very reasoned and difficult to argue with. The press however have learned nothing from their embarrassment in failing to investigate Oldco properly and it seems the succulent lamb is very much alive and well.

    I have stated before that Green, is an extremely astute business man and everything he is doing is part of a well executed plan on his part, to at least triple his money.

    With that, in further antagonising the football authorities/ independent commissions this is one area where he repeatedly seems to make the same errors which can only lead to a negative outcome for himself and his business. It was this arrogance which has ended up with Newco in Div 3, therefore I cannot understand what he wants to achieve by fighting LNS.

    I guess it’s the creating the siege mentality which appears to be paying dividends. Look at the gate receipts for the last match (45k) when only a few weeks ago, rfc fans were looking to boycott the season tickets. He knows his audience, and if he does sell Sevco5088 for a tidy profit, I think we should tip our hats for the way he has played this game…

    • Jono

      I agree, and further, he (Green) will know that rhetoric will prevail over logic, and that It’s unlikely that the mass will be swayed (let alone read) the full opinion, opting instead for the MSM interpretation.

    • philip spicer

      Not Sure that I would describe Charles Green as an Astute Businessman, in my opinion he has never had a business plan to speak off, rather he seems to be making it up on a day by day basis…. As 4 him tripling his money, i very much doubt if he will even break even..

    • I understand why you regard CG as astute but truthfully, I think he personally is an empty box, its what is behind him that is astute, he has and always will be a face ready to brass it out and make a noise while the real brains are the puppet masters, really look at his business profile. personally he has only ever been the face. Seriously, no one with global investment power would enertain listening to him if he did nt have the silent mass of credibility behind him. Thats all he his IMHO a face and now at TRFC he is the sad voice now as well.

      • ecojon

        @ michaelk1888

        What I can’t understand is why Zeus are letting him carry on the way he has been doing – they have a helluva lot more to lose than chico but it looks as though it could be a deadlock with Charlie holding one share in newco and Imran Ahmad of Zeus holding the other.

        • Zeus are secure in holding the assets , their money is safe . “on a bad day” they will recoup any outlay on any exit plus a tidy profit its CG who potentially looses out on his fees.

    • ecojon

      @ Macduff

      Agree with most of what you say but it isn’t his money that bought the assets – it’s the mystery investors.

      What interests me is who underwrites the Flotation.

      • Macduff

        @ecojohn

        That’s a fair point, he his acting on behalf of this consortium, but I would be sure he must be in for a bonus of some sort when the club is sold on / shares floated. In time i guess we will find out if he was a tactical business genius, or just another conman…

  3. kennymccaffrey

    Well put Paul, as ever.

    I cannot wait for the next few months to be over, a lot of Green and co’s hokum is laid bare and he toddles off. By then, we’ll have a large part of the populace armed with proper information, not least thanks to an HMRC verdict (or two?), Phil Mac’s book (and possibly other revelations as certain individuals start trying to take each other down with them) – and eager for more. The fact that a lot of the info/verdicts will now be coming from official, legal and judicial sources should also force the MSM to report properly and (hopefully) responsibly.

    Of course, by then the truth or fiction of the Great Flotation should also be out, and poor Ally won’t be the only one declaring himself “dreadfully weary” of the whole matter. I very much doubt Charlie will see the New Year in at Ibrox.

  4. TheBlackKnight TBK

    I can’t believe it!

    I’m never buying the Daily Record again! Lol :)

    • Can t believe any one reads “newspapers” any more i stopped more than 20 yrs ago and have no intentions of ever starting again. They truly are rags and bring any to disrepute the art of journalism, if in fact it is an art.

      • ecojon

        @ michaelk1888

        Certainly more of a black-art these days :)

        • A good paper is worth its weight in gold – pink gold in the case of the FT. At their best, they give you information. And information is power.

          Unfortunately a) there’s less and less good papers around and b) they are all struggling with circ & revenues.

          I would also like to point out the difference between professional journalists – ones who do their job properly – and what passes for the press in Scotland. A cosy world of rewriting press releases saying the music is “exquisite” whilst Rome burns down around them.

          Equally there are 10 Leggolands and Rangers Medias out there for every Scottish Law Thoughts or RTCs. The guys on the Scottish Football Monitor are struggling with keeping up the standard in the face of trolls – IMO professional and amateur – I hope they keep up the fight…

          Off topic, but what the heck: Anyone been watching The Newsroom on TV? Awesome show and you can see the “real” issues they are wrestling with.

  5. Extract from the full “Lord Nimmo Smith meets the Sun” conversation in full, based on a transcript from a recording on Lord NS Samsung Europa mobile phone (with Celtic 67 snap on cover.)

    LNS: Well that’s it I’ve ‘ad enough, that Charlie Green is doing me nut in. Its my turn to BLAST him now. Thing is, see, I ‘ate the rangers, always ‘ave and when I met The Green Brigade round the pub last Tuesday I said Id give dat Green a bloody nose by blasting ‘im in the Sun, see.

    The Sun: Too right Judge, So what would your message be to people concerned about bias in the hearing.

    LNS “Bias, wot, me, no way mate I am a f**king judge me and a Lord we cant be dealing with bias and shit, but I do ‘ate the Gers yeah. If it was up to me I’d ave em all locked up, throw away the key.

    The Sun: Wot about the SPL and SFA have they told you to find em guilty, throw the book at them.

    LNS; “Wot a great bunch of geezers. SPL, bought me this phone and all. Na, nod and a wink is all I got from them but I know what they want, eh ,eh.
    Gotta go, I have a meeting with the Daily Record in the Crown and Elephant … just cant get enough, I just cant get enough.

  6. ecojon

    When you look at Green’s business history you can detect the way he goes about things and it is also enlightening to look at how he departs and to begin with Rangers seemed to have started off according to plan.

    But he has gone ‘native’ and I can’t figure-out whether he has just been sucked in by the Ibrox frenzy or perhaps whether negative feedback about AIM Flotation take-up from bigger private investors and as institutions has forced him to go ‘native’ in a bid to flog shares.

    Pics of the sad old snake-oil pensioner, replete in tangerine jersey, pitching to an almost empty room of around 20 aging Canadian Bears seemed distinctly low-key. All sorts of promises were made on his whistle-stop share sale drive of a few NARSA clubs with Imran Ahmad in attendance and it will be interesting to see how many are kept and how many appear in the AIM prospectus.

    Apparently the minimum share block in Rangers will cost £500 which even for a die-hard supporter is quite a lot to have a share certificate for the wall to accompany the now worthless one which they previously invested in.

    But where I really can’t figure out chico is the fights that he is picking with the SPL and SFA which must have an effect on the AIM Flotation as savvy investors are pretty resistant to putting money into football clubs anyway and their financial advisors must surely ponder at the wisdom of investing in a club that appears to be at war with Scottish Football Authorities.

    Going native might sell some shares to the locals but could cost dearly in other markets.

  7. scarlet

    I’m no legal eagle but it appears to the layperson that the Rangers lawyers, and indeed Charles Green, know their is more chance of them winning the Champions League this season than winning the undisclosed payments case. Old Chuck is playing a blinder, albeit a short-term strategy. But then, seeing as he won’t be around for the long-term, what does it matter to him? He’ll no doubt receive a few fines and wrist-slaps from the Scottish football authorities, but he’ll pay whatever paltry amounts from Rangers bank accounts before riding off into the sunset with a bag of loot over his saddle. Rangers will be left standing on a shoogly grave with a noose around their neck, like Lee van Cleef’s character a t the end of The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.

    • ecojon

      @ scarlet

      The difference is that next time they won’t start with the assets they had this time around methinks.

      Will be interesting to see if Green buys any shares because if he does it would lock him in for a period before he can sell them. This might explain why he always used to say he was on a commission based on the amount raised by the flotation.

  8. allyjambo

    I think that by announcing that ‘the Club’ still exists Nimmo Smith has given Green an almighty dilema. Should, as most expect, the decision go against Rangers, and so sanctions are imposed on the club, Green’s only way out of accepting them might well be to appeal that they are, in fact, not a continuation of old Rangers but are, in fact, a new club. But this, of course, would prove the lie to his claims, used to encourage season ticket sales and, more importantly, give his floatation at least a chance of success, that new Rangers are old Rangers and, I suspect, is the reason why he declined to engage with the tribunal as he would want to avoid having to respond to this, and other points, at the preliminary hearing, prefering to wait until the result of the enquiry is known.
    Green now finds himself in a lose/lose situation (should the enquiry go against Rangers) as any sanctions that might well ruin his money making scheme might force him to appeal on the grounds that the club died with oldco and so, if he is successfull, create documentary proof, against which even the thickest bear couldn’t argue, that Rangers FC are dead; more dead, even, than if he’d just accepted, from the outset, that newco = newclub.

    • Agree in principle, but I don’t believe and I don’t think TRFC fans think he will be around very long anyway. I know they are struggling for corporate/HNW investors and certainly no institutional investors will enjoin so its down you resizing the opportunity to pull in the small investor. @ £500 at hit for the smallest share CG commission would still be healthy and at the moment they still have the assets so all in all its no a bad deal for him. Its the fans who once again are gonna get really humped and left, maybe, depending on the outcome of the commission with a shell of a club. If i was a blue nose I would be seriously worried at the inaction from within my club. thats why he has rushed the offer through, remeber his words? why are they bringing this now? why rush it? I believe quite possibly that the SFA/SPL are trying to ensure that no great personal loss on the part of the fans occurs if sanctions prevent the AIM listing gong ahead then the club has to stand on its own, there still is no plausible reason for the floation unless they do not have sufficient operating investment funds contrary to what CG has been claiming.

      • ecojon

        @ michaelk1888

        I think you are right in that any Bear with a brain knows in their heart iof hearts that Green isn’t here for the long term and I think they have switched-off regarding what the future might hold.

        To be honest I think in their shoes I might do the same :)

  9. Dhougal

    GENIUS !!!!! Thats what you are !

  10. COYBIG

    Lord Nimmo Smith’s commission has followed common legal practice. Yet, the Scottish MSM are reporting, thinly veiled, subliminal messages that this is wrong, and therefore the commission must be biased. Couldn’t make it up, could you?

    Are the Scottish MSM that naive? Could it just be that they are too willing to believe that someone is telling the truth, that people’s intentions in general are good, or that life is simple and fair. People are often naive because they are young and/or have not had much experience of life. But can this really be said of Traynor, Young, Guidi, Keev…wait, he’s older than fossil fuel, Hannah or Jackson. In my opinion, no.

    What then, do the MSM have to gain, that is so great, to distort events and basically lie? Rather than report the facts and question any irregularities in certian peoples’ statements or actions. Does anyone actually know?

    To me, it’s like a group of brothers, seeing who can climb to the top of the mountain first. Just to get a pat on the back and a well done from their Dad.

    • “Are the Scottish MSM that naive? Could it just be that they are too willing to believe that someone is telling the truth”
      Well where and when would you like this debate to begin?

  11. james larkin

    last wednesday night at sevco v Q.O.S …i could hear the song which starts – “hullo hullo, we are the billy boys”

    this was a cup match. why have the SFA not instructed any sort of investigation regarding these bigot based songs ?
    why does the MSM not raise this issue?
    why does chuck green not speak out against the “bigots” [within]?

  12. ivor newlands

    Great blog Paul. I have a query with respect to this now famous 5 way agreement. Duff and Phelps refused to co-operate in March and provide requested documentary evidence in relation to EBT’s for the SPL’s initial enquiry. Therefore there was no prospect of a conclusion to the EBT enqiry before the start of the new SPL season. Therefore the SPL had three options as I see it. 1. Postpone the season start to conclude EBT investigation (not really practicable). 2. Do not issue a licence to Rangers. 3. A plea bargain to allow the season to start on time with Rangers in it, with sanctions “by negotiation”. I don’t see what else the SFA/SPL could have done. Don’t know if I have my time line correct here but was this taken off the table because of liquidation or something else. You get my gist though?

  13. dan

    The basic thing about the MSM is that they are not proper journalists. All that distinguishes them from the common or garden fan, is their contact book. It’s not as if they know more about the game than you or me, they quite simply don’t. But they do know the game’s movers and shakers, and it is the utterances of these people that are uncritically reported—-eg see the unchallenged, and paranoid, ramblings of messrs Mc Coist and Green.

    That said, surely, they, the MSM, have the wherewithal to grasp the basic facts of the EBT saga? Instead we have them criticising the authorities for not acting on notifications received from HMRC two years ago, thus trying to deflect from Rangers’ alleged culpability in the affair. But what could that notification have been? Are the MSM seriously suggestion that HMRC told the relevant bodies that they suspected Rangers of operating dual contracts? At most HMRC would have informed the authorities that EBTs could be construed as tax evasion and perhaps they should advise member clubs accordingly. To infer anything else is obfuscatory.

    What seems to have been forgotten, apart from one journalist at The Herald, ( I think it was Michael Grant) was that the authorities got the heads up on dual contracts from a former Rangers director. It was only then that the authorities could have acted, and subsequently did.

    For me, what the whole Rangers affair proves is that the MSM will never change their approach. They may have been exposed as sucklings at the teats of the game’s great and not so good. But are they ashamed? Not a bit of it. They’re still sucking it up.

    • “they are not proper journalists”
      Can you imagine the circulation of a daily or weekly paper that had Paul, Phil and RTC, as the main journo’s? Now there’s a thought.
      Even now the MSM will not simply state that CFC looked at the EBT they operated and later contacted Hector saying they wished to make a post payment because it was the only and right thing to do

    • ecojon

      @ dan

      I have always thought that the connection between the HMRC, SPL and Rangers was that the HMRC were investigating Rangers tax affairs on a number of levels.

      It would be commonsense for them to contact the SPL and possibly the SFA to seek information that could assist their enquiries. Implicit in that move would be confidentiality between the HMRC and football authorities so that Rangers weren’t forewarned and there would also be the consideration that they could very well have been asked to hold-off any investigation of their own to allow Hector to conclude their own enquiry.

      This is how the HMRC operate day and daily and there in mothing underhand or untoward in it as they are trying to maximise the revenue that should rightly be paid to the Exchequer.

  14. Den

    “This founders upon the points (a) that it is nonsense and ..”

    Succinctly put.

    Green is starting from the point od view that because Rangers have been investigated and are facing the Commission then there is bias against them. It is a nonsense argument. ther has been no evidence brought forward to support his claims.

    Most sensible people would let their lawyers deal with it and get on with running the club. It would seem like a bad idea to antagonise the ruling bodies when you are in the 3rd Division and your best hope of recovery is a League reconstruction that may move you back up to the top flight quicker. The SFA and SPL will have a lot of say in this matter and may remember the Rangers’ slights over the last while.

    Green’s strategy only makes some sense if he is not concerned with the longer terma and just wants to attract the punters through the turnstiles and subscribing to his Share Flotation. When that is done he will walk away. his business history has a lot of walking away.

  15. AB

    Rather than overplaying, the newspapers have UNDER-PLAYED a key detail from LNS – namely his opinion that…
    …RANGERS FC has survived.

    Forget the ludicrous possibility of invalidated 10 years of football on a regulatory technicality, if LNS had opinionated the “new club” stance we’d have been “stripped” of…

    EVERYTHING!

    Rangers FC stripped of 5 titles
    OR
    Rangers FC stripped of EVERYTHING.

    Hmmmm…. which is the more newsworthy…

    Yet the papers say nothing – apart from the Record – about LNS shooting down the “new club” stuff as the nonsense it is.

    Anti-Rangers reporting again.

    • Mícheál

      Are you serious? Anti-Rangers reporting?
      Have a wee look at this article
      http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/sfl-division-three/mccoist-welcomes-support-of-sfl-as-inquiry-into-ebts-looms-1-2543188
      these sections in particular:
      “One report yesterday claimed that the SFL refused to take part in calls by the Scottish Premier League and the Scottish Football Association in the summer for the Ibrox side to be stripped of titles, with Rangers yet to be found guilty of any misuse of Employee Benefit Trusts (EBTs).

      An SPL-appointed independent commission will begin a hearing in November into alleged undisclosed payments made by Rangers to players in relation to EBTs during Sir David Murray’s stewardship.

      Rangers have refused to participate in the investigation – which could see them stripped of titles if found guilty – claiming the SPL has no jurisdiction over the Irn-Bru Third Division club.”

      So according to the Scotsman the SFL is protecting Rangers from the SPL and SFA. Interesting thought; it might have occurred to the journalist that the SFL is not backing Rangers but not involved because it has nothing to do with it and not a matter of its jurisdiction or approvement. And the misuse of the EBTs is no matter of football rules but not declaring additional payments is (in the 2nd paragraph rightly stated).

      And “which could see them stripped of titles” is only one of the milder punishments and, if found guilty for breaching the rules over a period of 10 years, probably just one of many.

      So the article gives the whole story a spin in favour of Rangers, not the other way around.

      And btw the commission stating that the club continued is actually no news and not worth a story for the msm as they always refered to Rangers as Rangers and a continuation of the club, so no news for the msm (btw another sign for the pro Rangers stand) as well since SPL and SFA treat the club as being a seperate entity, which it seems to be common practice in the UK as some examples provided by duplesis (I think it was) in another post showed.

      So please answer me the question: why should this be news?

      • AB

        Forgive me.
        You are CORRECT to point out the rest of the world has long ago come to terms with the fact Rangers FC survives on, distinguished history and all, £134 million lighter in debt.

        Only certain people supporting certain clubs have yet to catch up with that reality.

        Perhaps Lord Nimmo’s eminently weighty support for this position will help raise their consciousness.

        Doubt it somehow. Realising that you were lied to by the ones you most respected, the likes of Brennan (“Rangers are gone”), macGiolaBain et al, is a difficult one to come to terms with.

      • Fraser

        There are several reports of this ‘SFL supports Rangers against SPL’ and their origin appears to be the weekend’s leak of the document detailing the attempted deal to parachute Rangers into Division1 which would have entailed acceptance of titles being stripped. The Scotsman piece and one or two others are open to the interpretation that ‘the SFL’, whoever that is, is somehow currently briefing against the SPL in the EBT inquiry matter. That’s not what McCoist said but a bit of spin is being applied.

        By ‘SFL’ McCoist certainly can’t mean Chairman David Longmuir and other office bearers who went along with the plan. It was the rest of the SFL member clubs who threw it out and put them in Division 3 and as far as I can tell there has not been a further peep out of them on the matter since. So the implication in these press reports that the SFL is supporting Rangers against the SPL seems fanciful in the extreme, if I am to be polite about it (utter bollocks if I’m just speaking plainly). Succulent lamb by the hundredweight. Ally and the MSM are re-writing the events of the summer as though they are taking place now in a quite different fashion.

        I see Alastair Johnston is also at it again: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/19708535 One wonders what his interest is in currying favour with the fans of the club whose best interests he so significantly failed to serve. Still jockeying in case he sees the chance of a comeback perhaps? Johnston previously claimed that Rangers provided information about their EBT scheme to the SFA in response to concerns about the tax case and the SFA still granted them a licence for the 2011-12 season, so why are the SPL coming down on them now? Johnston doesn’t detail the exact enquiry from the SFA, nor does he obviate the need to point out that the SFA is not the SPL. Could someone tell me if the SFA requires player contracts to specify all remuneration, or is it just the SPL? Did the SFA ask Rangers about player contracts, and if they didn’t then why would the SPL ask them, even supposing the SPL and SFA share all their conversations?

        Johnston says today that conversations about EBTs took place between SPL members, but again he doesn’t say when, or what was discussed. The fact that such discussions took place doesn’t mean that everyone knew that players were being paid sums which were not specified in their contracts.

        Johnston, like Green, is at pains to uphold the integrity of LNS, though I can’t help thinking of Marc Anthony’s eagerness to remind us that “Brutus is an honourable man” every time one of them stresses how straight up the the learned gentleman is. But Johnston then suggests that it is the “directives” from the SPL members who have a vested interest in the outcome which will prejudice his Lordship’s conclusions. Which seems to me a bit like a defendant in a murder trial complaining that “if you will try me for murder then I might get hung”! The truth that the SPL members were in fact extremely reluctant to exclude Rangers and did everything in their power to help them restart at the highest possible level is perverted by Johnston in accordance with the PR narrative of Rangers as victims of SPL vindictiveness.

        None of these issues are taken up by the journalists reporting Johnston’s statements because, as Johnston, Green, Murray and others know, there are not enough journalists with the time to do so and providing there is nothing substantially new or revelatory in their statements they will be reported without challenge.

  16. jeanette doyle

    The current investigation covers thr SPL years . Is there any suggestion of wrongdoing in the SFL prior to this ?

    • Mícheál

      No. That’s why I find it strange of the Scotsman to mention the SFL at all.

      • ecojon

        @ Mícheál

        Well there are the cups that the SFL state they will not be removing.

        • Mícheál

          Forgot about them. But aren’t they SFA matter?

          • ecojon

            @ Mícheál

            THE Scottish Football League has no plans to consider stripping Rangers of the six League Cups won between 2001 and 2010, even if the club is found guilty of making undisclosed payments to players via Employee Benefit Trusts during those years.

            The two other governing bodies, the Scottish Football Association and Scottish Premier League, have worked on a draft document which proposes stripping Rangers of five league titles and four Scottish Cups if an ongoing investigation finds the club guilty of breaking rules by not disclosing payments made via EBTs.

            But the League Cup is run by the Scottish Football League and Rangers won that trophy in 2001-02, 2002-03, 2004-05, 2007-08, 2009-10 and 2010-11, all of which were within the 2001-2010 period in which EBTs were used.

            ————————————————————————————

            Quite simply the SFL have sold their soul for the Rangers money.

    • Fraser

      Green is a trumpet, a complete trumpet.

      “If Lord Nimmo Smith can do me a favour, I would like him to get everybody in Scotland to agree whether we are newco or oldco.”

      Can Charlie get his lawyer to explain LNS’s statement to him as perhaps he has difficulty understanding what he said.

      “These battle honours have been won by players and they belong to the badge. They don’t belong to an owner or a corporate body. I believe that is what Lord Nimmo Smith said at the weekend.”

      Is it? Where? I don’t remember anything about badges. Maybe he said something about ‘toly badgers’ and Charlie misheard. Anyway, I think the banker formerly known as Sir Fred Goodwin could tell Charlie a thing or two about the rescinding of honours.

      Perhaps if found guilty of fielding ineligible players over many years Rangers can keep the titles but pay back the prize money. That belonged to a corporate body (now deceased). Ah but no but yeh but oldco newco oldco, etc.

    • ecojon

      @mick

      I just can’t believe this guy Green or the MSM.

      Now the titles belong to ‘the badge’ and twice now in the last fortnight I have heard Green say that he owns the titles as he personally bought them. Why doesn’t MSM ask him to explain the contradiction.

      Personally, I’m now off to Companies House to check and see whether Green has registered yet another company named: The Badge Ltd.

      Obvious that his PR people are hard at work trying to make a silk purse out of a very sour Yorkshireman and failing badly – his defence against the charges against him are pathetic almost childlike.

      He says he never doubted that the Commission was impartial so how then can the decision it is charged to make have already been decided unless the Commission is biased?

      There seems to be serious missing links in Green’s cognitive processes at the very least.

  17. Dan at 9:45:
    Nice post but forgive the following from a pedant:
    “To IMPLY anything else is obfuscatory.”
    The recipient, listener, or reader infers, the writer or speaker implies.
    IniquitousIV

    • TheBlackKnight

      The writer/speaker may also infer or imply. The recipient, listener, or reader may perceive the intent of the writer or speaker.

  18. mick

    at the end of the day the whole country is rolling about laughing at sevco all the little teams are skelping them all over scotland fifa and uefa dont see them as same team its a money game and as the msm gravytrian steers on towards the buffers at 500mile a hour they are still lying and conning and denying the orcs the truth lord nimmo has a job to do and no amount of lamb can prevent the wheels of justice going round also the sfl will have to follow suit as uefa are watching and nimmo will set a presidence so its pop corn and cola for the paperchace and at last some punishment for cheating the other teams ,lets not forget the police case to 1 day soon the police will go to there doors with warrents for evading taxes its comedy gold the bigots of glasgow caught with there hands in the tax till to avoid being mislead get your updates here and at tsfm celticnewsnow scotzine and pie and bovril the only places not deluded and balanced

  19. mick

    if the sfl say no to stripping scotland should boycott the cup and sponsers fan power will make them think agian

  20. mick

    The EBTs failed, not because of administrative errors but because of pre-meditated lying and cheating

  21. COYBIG

    “The Scottish Sun. Lord Help You. Exclusive By Roger Hannah:

    CHARLES GREEN last night admitted he feels sorry that Lord Nimmo Smith has been dragged into the madness of the EBT probe.
    Rangers chief Green spoke out after SunSport revealed details of the plot to strip Gers of nine trophies.”

    Now, correct me if I am wrong, but that last sentance is a lie. There is no plot. (Plot: A secret plan made by several people to do something that is wrong, harmful or not legal, especially to do damage to a person or a government).

    “Lord Nimmo Smith will front a three-man independent tribunal in November to probe alleged side payments to players.”

    Key word being, INDEPENDENT. As in, not influenced or controlled in any way by other people, events or things.

    “Green refuses to recognise the hearing, but insists he will fight all the way to keep the honours.”

    So Green doesn’t want to accept that something is legal, true or important. But he will fight it none the less. Isn’t that a bit of a contradiction?

    “And he’s expressed sympathy for the men who have been drawn into one of the most bitter rows in Scottish football history. Green said: “We have never questioned the integrity of this panel.”

    Liar liar, pants on fire Charlie.

    “But I’m starting to feel sorry for them because they don’t know what they are getting themselves into. They are learned, they have international reputations and everyone knows their areas of expertise. But they are being drawn into something that is complete madness. If Lord Nimmo Smith can do me a favour, I would like him to get everybody in Scotland to agree whether we are newco or oldco. It changes every week to suit someone else’s agenda, so long as it doesn’t suit Rangers’ agenda.””

    Their area of expertise is Law. The system of rules of a country. So it is wrong to say they don’t know what they are getting themselves into. We would all like a definitive answer, as to whether its newco or oldco. But why didn’t Mr Hannah ask you what you think the answer is? Charles Green, questioning someone for changing their agenda from week to week. Well isn’t that ironic.

    “SunSport published documents which proved the SPL and SFA asked Gers to accept the loss of five titles and four Scottish Cups.”

    Which is common legal practice. So why surmise that it is wrong?

    “Green added: “I have said all along from day one that I will defend Rangers. I said that fans worry about losing their history. I have also said it’s the Rangers players who won these trophies. These battle honours have been won by players and they belong to the badge. They don’t belong to an owner or a corporate body. I believe that is what Lord Nimmo Smith said at the weekend. These trophies belong to the fans, the history books and the players who broke legs winning them. That is why I believe they should not and cannot be stripped.””

    You have also said from day one, more potently might I add, that your in it to make money. Hence the playing up to the fans. The Rangers players who won the trophies, would not have been there, had Rangers not implemented the EBTs illegally, allegedly. “They don’t belong to an owner or a corporate body”. But you said last week that you and your new company had bought them. The trophies belong to the SPL. They award the winners status to whom they believe has won their competition each season. Why are you describing former Rangers players as leg breakers?

    “Green insists he is being denied cash owed to Gers as the SFA deem the money to be due to oldco. But he argues he must be entitled to the money if the SFA argue he can face sanctions for alleged oldco crimes.
    He said: “There is no relationship with the SPL and the SFA. I’m chief executive of Rangers and have obligations to deal with the SFA. As far as the SPL is concerned, I have no regard or respect for them.”

    Playing to the fans again, Charles? Nowhere does it say you must be best friends with the SFA and SPL. You are obliged to have a working relationship, nothing more, which you do. So your point is redundant.

    “The SFA will be the appeal body in the event that I don’t agree with what Lord Nimmo Smith’s panel say.”

    I thought you said you didn’t recognise the hearing. So why would an appeal be necessary?

    “Yet it appears the SFA have the completely contrary view on some issues. I am owed £330,000 by UEFA and the SFA have refused to hand it over because they are saying I’m not entitled to it.”

    As they are intitled to, being that they are a separate body. “I am owed.” “I’m not entitled to it.” Oops, a wee slip up there Charles? Its OK I don’t think anyone noticed.

    “It is money due to Rangers for releasing players to play for their countries. Maybe this is another case of Charles Green being stupid. Or is this now a case of ‘Well, it doesn’t suit us’. It seems we can have the pain but not the gain.””

    Yes it is money due to Rangers. But you own The Rangers, so yes it is another case of Charles Green being stupid. It’s also another case of a reporter not asking a blatantly easy and ovious question. “Well, it doesn’t suit us'”. Is the one suit man giving out fashin tips? The creditors who got done out of alot of money, they have the pain. After the AIM floatation, it looks like you and your investers, but sadly not The Rangers or its fans, might just walk away with the gain.

  22. mick

    @coybig if green agreeded to the oldco title stripping it would have saved time and money and cleared a hurdle this is commen in law were the guilty get a deal lesser sentance for putting your hands up so rfc is costing scottish football money is green going to be punished with a higher sentance for not putting his hands up the draft the sun had is like the pf and defence lawyer doing a deal rather than trial at cost ,so green has to have more than titles stripped to balance the scales

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