Daily Express reports Bill Miller near Deal with the SPL – If True, This is a Travesty

Today’s Daily Express suggests that Bill Miller’s remarkable demand that the football authorities agree, in writing, that Rangers not be punished further is receiving serious consideration.

However the Express suggests that the SPL is reaching a deal with Mr Miller:-

“It all leaves Miller on his way to ownership after he and his advisors held long and detailed discussions with the SPL that appear to have resulted in an agreement of some kind that will allow the American to move forward, knowing the future will not be blighted by restrictive football punishments. SPL chief executive Neil Doncaster last night refused to comment, but it’s understood that if Miller’s plan is given the green light by the administrators he will be accorded a reasonable welcome in the Hampden corridors of power, where officials are intrigued at his proposition.”

Paul Clark, of Duff & Phelps, confirmed that there were talks ongoing and commented:-

“We have been involved in some of those discussions and I can’t tell you precisely what he’s now doing, even though I do know, but he’s pretty close to getting there. I think they are very close if they are not already at that position.”

Mr Clark goes on to say that there is no possibility of there being no sanctions, but, if the report is correct, then Mr Miller’s bravado looks, at least with the SPL, like paying off.

The question I have is how on earth the Chief Executive of a company can sit with a person who wants to buy a member, and agree to waive punishments and penalties laid down in his organisations rules, and indeed to forget about ongoing investigations and to waive the right to look into issue sin the future.

I have not the time right now to go all through the SPL rules and Articles, but I cannot see such a decision, if taken by Mr Doncaster alone, as being intra vires. If it is ultra vires, it will not withstand a legal challenge by affected parties. The Chief Exec is powerful, but he is not omnipotent, is he?

Such a fundamental departure from the rules as they presently stand must, at the very least, involve a decision by the Board, if not a full meeting of the SPL members.

Bearing in mind that the effect of such a decision might be to keep Rangers safe from liquidation, it will have the direct result that Dunfermline, who would be saved if Rangers go bust, will be relegated.

Does this mean that the “two contracts” and “illegal payments” investigations, arising from the ongoing tax case, will simply be swept under the carpet? If so, the SPL headquarters clearly needs an enormous carpet!

Bearing in mind that Mr Miller’s proposal has been seen as nonsensical by me, but more importantly by many other commenters, including the Rangers Supporters Trust, what does it say about Mr Doncaster and the SPL that the Miller Plan seems to have received a favourable hearing there?

Bearing in mind that there is sue to be a vote on 30th April about tighter Financial Fair Play Rules, this has to be a joke, doesn’t it?

If Mr Doncaster is off on what lawyers call “a frolic of his own” then his employers ought to be taking him aside for , at the very least, a quiet word. If his actions are being approved by the Board, or members of it, this should be made clear.

As Mr Doncaster and Mr Regan of the SFA work closely together, can either of them confirm if they have spoken to each other about this idea?

If so, and the SFA are favourable too, then Rangers might feel that their “and with one bound it was free” escape route has finally opened up. (Except for the small matter of potential legal challenges, court and creditor approval and UEFA and FIFA oversight, amongst other small “hitches”.)

To conclude – if Mr Miller gets anything near what he demanded from the SPL and SFA, then football in Scotland, if it has not already happened, is finished.

Fair Play? Don’t make me laugh.

Posted by Paul McConville

(Coming later – an analysis of the D&P Resolutions voted on by the Creditors)


Filed under Administration, Football Governance, Rangers, SFA, SPL

28 responses to “Daily Express reports Bill Miller near Deal with the SPL – If True, This is a Travesty

  1. Leonard


    Corruption off the radar.

    • Carntyne

      There have been many stories printed in newspapers about Rangers travailes, most of which have been well wide of the mark.

      I suspect this is just another.

      Wealth off the radar.


      Final deadline.

      Best offers.

      Best, best offers.

      New deadline.

      Blue Knights fav bidders.

      No, Ng fav bidder.

      Whoops, Blue Knights again fav bidder.

      No, Miller Lite fav bidder.

      Erm, Miller Lite bid only stands if everyone else (that would be one other) ‘puts up or shuts up’ and only if list of (impossible) conditions are met.

      Prediction for tomorrow.

      Miller Lite withdraws bid as SPL cannot guarantee Craig Whyte will meekly hand over his shares and walk away .

      Liquidation looms large.

  2. Tommy B

    I have followed my club for almost 60 years and have had a season ticket for more that 40 of those. This could be my last, if any of what is being suggested takes place. I cannot believe that anyone would even consider acceding to these demands.

  3. Good Morning Paul,

    What on earth goes on here, and just who is advising the executive team at the SPL these days? Mickey Mouse?

    Remember that it would appear that the SPL executive are discussing nothing more than the sale of a single share in the SPL company. How on earth do they have the power or the right to negotiate such a sale? We are not talking about the transfer of the share on promotion or demotion. We are not talking about the transfer of the share even under a straight and normal share agreement. We are talking about a transfer of a share to someone who has no history is Scottish, British or European football, and under conditions where the potential purchaser wishes to reeive certain guarantees or assurances which are completely outwith regarding the SPL rules and articles of Association.

    Now, I will happily by Rangers PLC if the SPL give me a guarantee that they will pay all of the next 5 years prize money to me irrespective of where the team finish in the league!! Neil Lennon might buy Rangers if the SPL guarantee that if he does so then the League and all refereeing officials will overturn any decision that he chooses to complain about!

    Paddy Power would by Rangers if the SPL would agree to arrange the official scores of every game with him beforehand — same with William Hill.

    In short, there are any number of people who would step up and buy Rangersif they can dictate the conditions under which the club will play in the league in the future. Why not make it a condition that Rangers are exempt from all fiscal compliance and regulation, or the offside rule, or from any regulation imposed bu UEFA?

    The very fact that the SPL have even entertained a discussion with this guy baffles me greatly. When you buy shares in a company, you don’t get the right to go and dictate changes in company policy to the majority of shareholders before you have purchased the shares.

    I will go out and buy shares in Tesco tomorrow if the board on behalf of the rest of the shareholders all agree to give the entire profits to me for the next three years, or if they agree that I can go into any Tesco store and take whatever I want from the shelves at any time wiithout having to pay and without punishment or sanction.

    Can Amdy Murray dictate what rules he wants to play under to the LTA?
    Can wee Rory or Darren Clarke or any other pro golfer seek an annual tour card on the basis that the rules of golf will be changed just to suit them? Could they, for example, negotiate a position where the slow play rule does not apply to them or that they are allowed 3 more clubs in the bag than anyone else?

    I have absolutely no idea why this guy is being entertained by Duff & Phelps, The SPL or anyone else.

    Oh I forgot– they are desperate to save Rangers– and when you are desperate all normal objectivity and clear business sense disappears like snow of a dyke on a warm day.

    • Bjmac

      Why are we now believing the Daily Mail? Serious question.

      This, as outlined in BM bid, will not happen. IF it did Scottish football will die very quickly.

  4. Neil Doncaster does not seem to be a fit and proper person to be in charge of a professional football league. Unless Mr. Regan makes it clear that the SFA will certainly not entertain Mr Miller’s outrageous demands then it will be time for us all to call upon UEFA to expel the SFA.

    Having said that, the source is the Express. This could well be nothing more than a pile of moonbeams.

  5. but I cannot see such a decision, if taken by Mr Doncaster alone, as being ultra vires.



  6. Paul Boyle

    The sooner UEFA takes over the fiasco of the SPL and SFA investigation involving Rangers in a Crisis, the better for ALL of Scottish Football.
    If it is eventually proven that Rangers have cheated over at least a 10 year period, which resulted in not only Scottish fans and other clubs suffering, but also European fans and clubs in loss of potential earnings, trophies. There is no way that a small slap on the wrist and welcome back to the fold and all is ok, nudge nudge wink wink, with the traditional handshake to seal the deal! That is not justice or sense of “Fair Play” but basically a “Cheats Charter”!

    We might as well rename our Scottish organisations as RFC and be transparent at least this would get rid of two organisations called SPL and SFA!
    Currently I believe there are 12 clubs from Scotland and Europe owed money, currently a few Scottish Clubs have been “shafted” this season over the last few months over non payments but again our Scottish Authorities appear to be dragging their heels on these issues.

    As a No 1 Priority all money that is due to Rangers by the SPL for season 2011-2012, should be withheld, and proportionally given to the Scottish clubs that are owed this if there is not enough to give it all back to each of them.
    For the record I support Scottish Football and I am not a supporter of Rangers or their closest rivals.

  7. This surely can’t be true. It just wouldn’t withstand any scrutiny at all.

  8. My only point here; without disagreeing with anything would be in what form the SPL would make such decisions. As a ‘newco’ I can actually see such a decision as being justified: no penalties for a new Rangers to enter the SPL (If accepted).

    When i say justified i do not mean morally, obviously. What I mean is that imposing sanctions on a ‘newco’ for the ‘crimes’ of the previous company; that it might just share a 99% resemblance to: is incompetent. If we wish to go down the route of legal challenge then the punishment of a new company for the folly of it’s presumed forefather just doesn’t stand up.

    What i would advice the SPL to do is to change their rules to say something along the lines that any club, to join the SPL (outwith promotion) must forfeit all payments for the first x years. This would be a stipulation as such,and not a punishment as it is currently being presented as.

    I totally understand the subjective fall out of the SPL decision but I also understand that punishing a new company(If indeed that is the plan for Rangers, as I presume it is) for entry to the SPL on the back of the current Rangers membership to be impractical.

    What if Barcelona decided to buy Rangers membership and call themselves “Barcelona Glasgow” to enter their B team in the Scottish league; should they be expected to forfeit cash too?

    Please understand here, I am not saying this is correct, or a proper way to do things. Nor am I here to defend the SPL chiefs.

    Completely unlikely this will happen, I expect it to be press nonsence; but I can see where the SPL might just be backing themselves into a corner on this one. Not that that is surprising. They are the most incompetent bunch of F***wits I have ever come across.

    I understand Pauls original post relates to Rangers in their present form; but I am highly sceptical that Wild Bill has that intention. My view is that he hopes to buy Rangers, transfer all that is left to a new Rangers and leave the other to die. Incubator? He means transplant….

  9. The express report’s first two paras had a number of expressions that give their journalist room to join Mr miller’s frolic of fancy. “Looks to have”…”appears to gave ” – there are no actual quotes other than from Duff and Dufferer who are desperate to find a credible bid but who have already dismissed miller’s becauise of the conditions attached.

    Even if Doncaster has cut a deal – big if -You surely can’t just lump SFA and spl together as they both have different responsibilities – the spl is a members club for Scotland’s elite (!) teams to maximise revenue, whereas the SFA us the national body responsible for the laws and for the good of third game. The newco/incubator still needs a license to play football in Scotland and that is not in the spl’s gift.

    I think the guys from the express seem to have been enjoying the Tennessee equivalent of succulent lamb on this one. Taking the story at face value with no supporting information.

  10. Robin

    Aside from the morality of the question I think there would be too many complications from other parties for this to work. Doesn’t just affect RFC(IA)/Miller.

    However, and although we don’t know what was said in the talks, the fact that it wasn’t rejected outright is worrying.

  11. Terry ONeill

    Story with no reporter attributed to it.

    Same newspaper that went with a story that said the funding is already in place for a £750M Sapporo Dome style stadium.

    Now if andy mccines wid attach his name tae that tosh .

  12. craig78

    The metaphor of Doncaster careering down the street in an SPL horse and cart is most apt on so many levels…

  13. John Pollock

    We shouldn’t be surprised that there are desperate last ditch attempts to save the establishment club because it is now clear that the family have been informed and the priest is on his way. I expect many more such mischief making style headlines and skulduggery in the next 48 hours as lets face it the timetable we are dealing with now is hours not weeks. My prediction is that rangers are facing extinction not liquidation rendering all other concerns raised in such stories irrelevant. The concern for non rangers fans should be the future of the game in this country as I suspect it is already too late to salvage same. History will show that rangers and rangers alone destroyed the game in this country, not gloating Celtic fans or anyone else for that matter no matter what the hacks (with glaring obvious self interests to protect) try to brainwash you with. And as for the poor innocent rangers fans? Please don’t make me laugh. Your arrogance and misplaced notions of being Gods chosen people, coupled with your complete lack of humility in this situation have ensured that few tears will be shed in this household and many others I suspect. I’ve enjoyed a good run at it (25 years albeit 15 of those were bent) and if all I have left is one more chance to gubb them then so be it. Now go home and prepare for the backlash comrades!

  14. There's Only One Willie Miller

    The Sunday Times says that Miller is close to a deal with the SPL AND SFA on the “parameters of punishment” for a newco Rangers in the SPL next season.

  15. gopaul

    does the team relegated (probably Dunfermline) have legal case against rangers for cheating by not paying PAYE this year – cos if so does rangers not get auto-fine of 0-3 for all games, which means dunfermline stay up – rangers reegated…..

    if i was running dunfermline – i would raise this as legal test case – as whats to loose. the downside is cost of legal case – up side it staying in SPL – without rangers to compete against.

  16. Bonny Bel

    Not a bad analysis but perhaps all Mr Miller is seeking to do is ensure that the fans are not punished for the sins of the previous administrators and owners. Don’t know how that is controversial and why he should be criticized for asking for such. It’s like buying a car and having the old owner pay for the speeding tickets he got and the old parking fines as well. Further, I don’t understand why the supporters trust of the club is criticizing Miller. That is akin to telling the fire brigade to get off your property when they turn up to put out your blazing house. Can someone please explain that this is the only game in town and the guy is trying to structure a bid within the ridiculous rules and confused mess that exists here and just thank him for trying. I thought we Scots were hospitable folk…

    • Not sure characterising Rangers Supporters Trust as “we Scots” is very fair on the vast majority of open-minded and tolerant inhabitants of our nation!

      And..I’m sorry but I don’t see miller’s attempts to coerce Scotland’s footballing authorities into giving him and his newco rangers a free ride as quite the altruistic endeavour you seem to.

      Fans suffer. It’s what we do. Whether its the fans of EVERY club in Scotland that have seen our clubs suffer as Rangers have used dodgy offshore tax schemes and illegal secondary contracts to ensure their own success, or whether its the fans of other teams who have suffered the punishments as written in the rulebooks of the SFA and spl, rules some feel shouldnt apply to rangers, fans of other teams have suffered.

      Rangers are trying to walk away, Scot-free, from their financial obligations, from £70-130 million of debts, debts owed to businesses and to the country and carry on hardly missing a bear, and that’s simply not fair or right.

      • Bonny Bel

        That is just what happens when a business becomes insolvent. It is happening all over the countryside. Woolworths, Faiths Shoes, Peacocks, HMV, All Saints, Blacks Leisure, Jane Norman, Tootsies, Balls Brothers … The list goes on. Its regrettable but I sometimes think fans should realise that this is what happens in a capitalist model and the laws of the land operate very efficiently to sort the mess out and new, better funded owners emerge to take the business and staff over and the world keeps turning. Football is just another asset class as far as the law is concerned, just like retail, media, pharma, technology and so on and the governing bodies’ rules actually such as the ridiculous proposals to actually crucify a newco buyer actually impede the very efficient transfer of control from an insolvent owner to a well funded owner. That is – in my view – bonkers and football has got to emerge from its parallel universe and just face up to the fact that its nothing special in the eyes of the law (albeit it is very special in the hearts of men). Making it impossible to pursue a newco rescue is like legislating to outlaw life jackets. Sorry for the rant. Monday morning and a screaming bub last night to blame.

    • thomas cochrane

      you are a total lumpot

  17. Agreed Bonny B, that’s kind of the point isn’t it? It’s a business, the fortunes of which will rise and fall based on the decisions of its owners or those delegated to make those decisions, customers (fans) don’t really have a say.

    Celtic and others have made the decision that they would forgo some short term gain (trophies) for the long-term benefit of the compnay (football club). By not overspending and indeed by paying bills, both from day to day commerce and taxation, as they fall due, they have ensured their longterm viability. Rangers did the polar opposite.

    Given what I perceive as my Nation’s traits – application of hard work, enjoying a challenge, even enjoying a little bit of hardship, but always carrying ourselves with pridem, courage and dignity (a word misappropriated incredibly of late) – I am aghast at the “special treatment” that what should be one of Scotland’s success stories, an institution with every single benefit going its way, is trying to pass of as fair now that they have been busted working against the prionciples of fairness.

    Rangers flew too close to the sun with wings made of wax (that wasn’t even theirs) – they got burnt and now they are crashing to earth. Now it seems they can’t even find a legitimate buyer for the wreckage.

    Que sera sera.
    que sera sera

  18. Hector has the liquidiser all ready! The last rights are being said and the ‘family’ have been informed but they seem to be too stupid to realise that the end is nigh! The poor souls still think that the cadaver is just sleeping and just refuse to accept the inevitable. but on the up side their is a bright future in sight and everything looks fresh and green.

  19. Pingback: Where Stands The Rangers Bidding War? Is Either Bid in the Interests of the Creditors? Or Is it all Just PR? | Random Thoughts Re Scots Law by Paul McConville

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