Green – We’ll Fight for Compensation for Players Who Didn’t Join Sevco Rangers (and Lose)

Yesterday Mr Green made clear his stance on the players who exercised their legal rights not to go to work for Sevco 5088 Ltd, or Sevco Scotland Ltd or RFC 2012 Ltd…

His statement, from rangers.co.uk is below, with commentary in bold.

The article was written by Lindsay Herron on the official “Rangers” website and therefore the narrative part of the story too can be taken as the official “Rangers” stance.

—————————————————-

CHARLES GREEN has vowed to fight to bring in compensation for the players who have walked out on Rangers and he has asked the SFA to play a key role.

The guts have been ripped out of Ally McCoist’s squad by 11 players – headed by Steven Naismith, Steve Davis, Steven Whittaker and Allan McGregor – who insist they are not obliged to join the new company under TUPE. Indeed Whittaker has been signed by Norwich City while Kyle Lafferty is joining Sion in Switzerland. The Rangers Chief Executive, however, is insistent that Rangers are due compensation for all of the players who have gone.

“The guts have been ripped out of the squad”? Not much of a vote of confidence in the various players, including internationalists, who remain, is it? And bearing in mind that the most likely place for the players to be plying their trade for Sevco next season is SFL3, are all those players really needed? I also am rather upset by the thought of Ally McCoist’s guts…

Or is it purely and simply that, having spent £5.5 million to buy all “the assets and business of Rangers”, which includes the sum of around £4.5 million for the fixed assets, Mr Green is upset that his immediate massive profit has walked away for nothing?

If the 11 players commanded transfer fees of £1 million each on average, then this would have created an immediate profit for Mr Green’s consortium of around £10 million, even before any money received from the sale of Mr Jelavic to Everton. Duff & Phelps have still not confirmed if those rights were sold to Sevco too.

If I had lost an immediate £10 million profit on a £5.5 million investment, and still retained £4.5 million of fixed assets, I might be annoyed too.

 

He told RangersTV: “Our position is unchanged. We have notified all clubs in the UK that we believe these players are Rangers players.

I believe that Albion Rovers will win the Champions League by 2020. I believe that potted hough is a delicious and much under-rated food, loved by children, especially when what it is made of is explained to them. I believe that Alan Shearer and Mark Lawrenson make up the best commentary team on British TV. But my belief makes none of those things true.

(One of them is not actually believed by me…)

Albion Rovers – Champions League Winners by 2020?

Potted Hough – a delicious food, much loved by children?

The best commentary double act on British TV?

Maybe Mr Green did not notice that his players were looking further afield. Why not notify the Swiss teams, for example, as Mr Lafferty has already gone there?

The whole issue is not whether the players are “Rangers” players. For employment law purposes all that matters is the legal entity which is the employer. The players were employed by Rangers Football Club PLC (in administration). Mr Green bought the assets and business of Rangers via Sevco 5088 Ltd or Sevco Scotland Ltd. If he bought them through the former, there seems to have been a further transfer of the assets from Sevco 5088 Ltd to Sevco Scotland Ltd. The players have the right to object to the first transfer and potentially the second one. As I asked before, was the SPFA told that Sevco Scotland Ltd was to be the employer? Were the players told that? The law is clear, in my opinion; an employee needs to know for whom he is to work before he can be deemed to have consented to the transfer of his employment.

 

“Seven or 10 days after the transfer occurred they took the opportunity to leave the club so that they could make material gains. That’s not morally right and it’s not legally right and we will do everything in our power to defend Rangers’ position in these matters.

How dare the players seek material gain! After all Mr Green and his consortium have invested in football purely as a philanthropic measure, with no desire for a return, haven’t they? After the Prime Minister discussed the moral iniquity of legal tax reduction arrangements by a comedian, we now have the CEO of what purports to be “Rangers” criticising people for actions not being “morally right”. I suspect that there are many eloquent commenters here who can suggest areas where the club Mr Green claims to own have fallen short on the moral front. I will leave that to them.

Whilst there might be arguments about the morality, there can be little argument about the legality.

A simple question. How many court actions have been raised by Sevco Scotland Ltd against the 11 players alleging that they are in breach of contract and suing the players and the clubs signing them for damages and for interdict? I may be wrong, but is the answer not zero?

 

“I understand very clearly the situation then when a club applies for an international transfer certificate that the SFA have little choice but to release that but that doesn’t remove the case for compensation and we will pursue that.

At least Mr Green accepts that the SFA would be in breach of the law, both of the land and of football, as per Bosman, if it refused to release players’ registrations.

 

“We spoke to the SFA last week and put them on notice that we will be looking for them to set up a panel to review these cases individuals. It is our mind each case is a clear breach of contract.

Wait a minute. If, as Mr Green just said that the SFA has no choice but to release players’ registrations, why do they need to set up a panel to review the cases? How is it a breach of contract, and with whom?

As has been commented repeatedly the European Directive which is the basis for the TUPE Regulations in the UK is designed to protect the rights of employees, not employers. So far every single team which has signed a former Rangers player will have considered the legal position. Every one has proceeded. That does not necessarily mean that they are all right, but it suggests that Mr Green’s opinion is very much in the minority, and this only because… it has no foundation at all in law!

 

“These players had already arranged through Duff and Phelps huge reductions in their actual values against the market values and for them to exploit what they see as a loophole and to try to deprive this club of the cash is morally wrong.

“If I get my hands on the throats of any of those players….” Mr Green outlines Plan B if compensation claims fail. (NB This is intended for humorous purposes only. It is not intended to suggest that Mr Green wishes to do physical harm to anyone at any time. Thank you.)

These players had already agreed to give up significant portions of their salaries for three months, and had not even been able to agree for these to be deferred. The 11 [layers in question played for Rangers for three months when they were being paid a fraction of the sums they were entitled to. Did Mr Green suggest that his consortium would, as a gesture of goodwill, make up this noble gesture by the players? Of course not.

Maybe, as Mr Green is threatening court actions, he should sue Rangers Football Club PLC and its administrators for their negligence in how the players’ contracts were revised, thus creating this “loophole”. In any event the “loophole” is the law! There is no “loophole”.

And again we see the real motive. Mr Green did not want these players to play for his team. He wanted them to be sold. Why should the players show any loyalty to a new employer whose business plan involved almost immediately transferring the players? Why should the players do this when they could sign elsewhere for more money than if transferred?

This has more chance than Mr Green’s compensation claim re players who objected to the Sevco transfer

 

 

“There are 11 individuals and each one has different representation. We have spoken to some of the clubs involved and we have exchanged letters but we will not just walk away and let this fall.”

No walking away? Maybe the new crest for Sevco? What did the clubs say? I assume they politely told Sevco where to go? Where are the court actions?

 

“Myself and the rest of the board met with the senior players and the younger players at Murray Park today when the manager was also there. We did a Q & A period and once again the manager expressed his disappointment that some of the senior players have left.

Maybe if Mr Green and his Board had done so before the purchase, or on the day of the purchase, or even immediately upon the purchase talking place, the players would still be there? Or else they would have left earlier?

It looks to me, and this is only surmise, that either Mr Green had received favourable legal advice that the players could not leave (which I doubt) or that he was relying on them not “walking away”. Either way he was wrong.

As I have said before, any player’s agent who did not tell their client about the rights to object to a TUPE transfer would be negligent and open themselves up, potentially, to a claim form their client. Why therefore have players stayed? It might be for love of the club, or more prosaically that they saw little or no chance of an improved contract elsewhere.

—————————————————-

At the end of the day Mr Green is not upset because the players will not be about to play for “Rangers”. Instead I think his annoyance is because he has seen some of what he thought were his assets disappearing for nothing. If he did have legal advice backing up his position, he might be suing his own lawyers!

What did he intend to do with the sale proceeds? Was this part of the £20 million supposedly available for Sevco’s use? If so, when combined with the season ticket debacle, his company’s finances might already be holed before the waterline, even before a single ball has been kicked in anger…

 

Posted by Paul McConville

 

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38 Comments

Filed under Charles Green, Employment Law, Football, Rangers, SFA, TUPE

38 responses to “Green – We’ll Fight for Compensation for Players Who Didn’t Join Sevco Rangers (and Lose)

  1. I bow to your greater legal knowledge on this, but surely the point in regard to Green’s comment,

    “We spoke to the SFA last week and put them on notice that we will be looking for them to set up a panel to review these cases individuals”

    is that Sevco are NOT currently members of the SFA. Therefore, the SFA are under no obligation to them with regard to the matter of international transfer certificates.

  2. Manwitwoheids

    How can Mr Green be a successful businessman if he doesn’t even have the ability to understand the basic precepts of TUPE? Or is that wilful misunderstanding? Surely not – that would imply that his pronouncements are merely bluster to somehow bully “deserting” players to stay with Sevco. Maybe he thinks it’s them and their agents that are “green”? I look forward to following the slew of court cases when Sevco take these miscreants to task, although I suspect I’ll have to book a place in a cryogenic chamber if I’m ever going to live long enough to see that.

  3. beanos

    A pretty accurate summary.

    I’m sure we’ll see those cases in court, right after Duff and Phelps vs The BBC 😉

    The thing is, had Mr Green been successful in accumulating £10-15m in transfer fees by selling these players, wouldn’t the creditors of RFC (IA) have had something to say about that? I imagine he knows fine well that he hasn’t got a leg to stand on legally and that this bluster is just yet more PR in a desparate attempt to get some of the fans on side.

    With the impending rejection of the SPL application, the probable rejection of the SFL1 route, lack of season ticket sales and the ‘Rangers People’ such as Bomber and Walter making their pitches it looks like Sevco’s business plan is falling apart. The cynic in me says this is all part of his plan, he has no intention of running a football club in the short or long term and is simply waiting for everything to collapse and sell the assets on, quite possibly to one of these consortia of ‘Rangers People’.

  4. mick

    if they dident go they were getting sold anyway the players saved them till now now its up to green lol

  5. josephmcgrath112001809

    It sounds like Mr. Green is setting the scene for the closure of Rangers.”We did our best but everyone stabbed us in the back! We’ll just have to sell off Ibrox and Murray Park and go home.”

  6. mick

    at the end of all this the players that left have restored dignity to there careers and its only green traynor and a few knuckle graggers that are agianst it the whole of scotland backs the players that left good luck to them ,green is on the back peg and starting to wobble div3 will floor him

  7. mick

    sevco in the river scots law for ever

  8. mick

    a feel ibrokes could be a distrubution center good road links near the airport just lik amazon at greenock ,any1 any other ideas no hotels or casinos lol

    • mick

      jim trynor will love this ,alan the laws the law they were liquidated and cheated there out no matter what lol

    • Marching on Together

      This is the Italian “lawyer” (although he has never been able to produce evidence of his legal qualifications) who represented Saddam Hussein, owned Dundee FC, and is a general publicity-seeking bampot. He is NOT legally qualified in Scots law, and has little in the way of bona fides to be able to pronounce on topics of Scots law.

      I can see several errors in his piece, based on a misinterpretation of the law. However, his contention that the ‘Club’ exists independently from the trading vehicle which operates it, seems to be in accord with the SFA/SPL rules (or at least they way they are interpreting them).

  9. John

    Can you look into the SFL voting rules.

    Reading the constitution it seems clear that it should require a 75% (there 22/23 votes out of 29/30 regardless of any abstainments) but apparently the SFL are throwing out the rulebook by having a 51% vote.

  10. mick

    maggie gribbon is going to fifa so no worrys greens on to plums lol

  11. mick

    for a speedy remedy sevco are not a team yet lol

  12. Chas W

    D&P negotiated the wage cut with players, and running the show and direct contact with the agents etc They had a deal with Green which covered both eventual outcomes CVA or liquidation – very pragmatic. As administrator specialist they would/should know the TUPE law inside out, and you would have thought would have already lined up buyers for the players (who wanted away) before the CVA rejection to protect the asser. Would this not have been in the best iinterest of the creditors

  13. mick

    d&p must be liabile for not selling players in febuary ,all the talk about preserving the team for a sale has back fired ,the players have the law behind them and can leave for free so if a was a creditor a would want answers its all been mishandled and every1 who lost money should sue due to neglecting the duty of the creditors

  14. ecojon

    Watching some of the near hysterical comments emanating from Greene I really do fear for the man’s health. What I find unbelieveable is the emotion, energy and time he is spending on the players who left when he is beset with many more pressing problems of immediate urgency such as preventing the absolute eclipse of Rangers.

    If his legal advice was that the players have acted illegally and that he has a good chance of winning damages then he should simply instruct solicitors to lodge the necessary writs and let them get on with it and not give it another thought. He has a slight problem of course going down that road in that he’ll probably have to pay quite a bit up-front to the lawyers. Of course, in reality he has no possibility of winning the legal actions and the lawyers will know that.

    I agree with Paul that Greene would have been banking on selling-on these players to fund the running costs of the club for the next few months and possibly enhancing the price he would have got for selling it on later or enhanced the attractiveness to investors.

    But I still can’t get my head round whether he believed sevco would have remained in the SPL. If he has sold all the best players where would Rangers have ended up in the SPL and did he believe that Sky would have sat back and let sevco sell all the stars and field a team of young relatively inexperienced players without making noises about the TV fees payable. Watching Greene in action is like watching a headless chicken running about and I find it hard to believe he is that useless a businessman and his past record suggests differently.

    I therefore believe that Greene got involved not just because he thought he could make a fast buck but because he knew he would and that, to me, means that someone assured him that the path was smoothed to remain in the SPL. I can’t see anyone without a really strong Rangers connection buying the club without a guarantee of remaining in the SPL.

    I’ve never actually seen the wording of the players’ pay-cut agreement and the release clause so again I wonder whether Greene didn’t think or had been told the release clause wouldn’t exist by the time sevco had bought Rangers.

    I think the oh so personal attacks and threats he continually mounts on the players who have gone point to a much deeper story – Greene definitely believed he would be able to sell them and it’s almost as if he didn’t know about the Tupe Regs but he has a football and business background so he must have. Even if he didn’t why didn’t his bid advisors and lawyers warn him.

    There’s something here that hasn’t emerged yet and I really am getting nearly as worked up as Greene trying to figure it out and I haven’t thrown away millions.

    So it’s to be a simple majority vote to allow sevco into SFL1 according to STV.

  15. Al ross

    I read somewhere in the last few days, I say somewhere as frankly I can’t recall there being so much stuff written on the football team formerly known as Rangers, that John Brown had rejected a contract with the new iteration, he having worked as a scout, football not cub. Will Mr Green be suing him as well ? That said much more importantly has Aggie taken up the new contract offer ?

  16. ecojon

    Ah funny you should mention Bomber – you must read: http://www.football365.com/spl/7862613/Green-has-raised-white-flag-Brown

    Bomber has revealed the Celtic masterplan which Greene signed up to give the Bhoys not just Scottish but European dominantion.

    There’s got to be a film about this!

    • JimBhoy

      I dunno Bomber’s thinking behind all this… Maybe Green’s words Bomber has as his ‘secret’ from his last meeting were ‘Hail Hail Johnnie, don’t let the door hit your @ss on the way out!’…

      It has been Lawell’s plan all along apparently, Bomber is notably deluded, been eating those blue biscuits you get in the public loos.. Won’t eat the green ones!

      We talk about teenagers not getting a chance in life, missing generations etc, with role models like Bomber what chance do they have…

      Bitterness at it’s worst. £8.7m to spend why is it always x.x millions why not £9m. I guarantee you this Bomber, if you asked me how much it would take to buy Rangers I could tell ya, £20m used bank notes in a suitcase and it’s your right now mate, match the greenbacks with the Tommy Sheridanesque rants and it’s yours.. Posturing and jesturing and spouting rubbish only feeds the nutcases…

  17. mick

    conspiricy theorys lol remember we were parinoid the 12th man and so on,now they feel para ,karma or what lol pmsl haha the huns are para lol scotland is loving all this the bully being bullied ,lol

  18. mick

    brown forgot to mention romes in on it as well lol

  19. lapsed buddy

    Do the players who DID join sevco have grounds to walk away still due to the management attempting to deceive them about their TUPE rights?

    • mick

      yes athink they could but dont take that as a devo ,as green is aliar and gave the wrong information am sure under scots law they could due to breach of contract ,greens a liar and cheat that would secure it in there favour ,what contract has he offered players ?green has missed reprerasented the true facts to me thats contract breach ?????

  20. Hugh Jampton

    I see that Malcolm Murray has apologised for Rangers getting Scottish Football into a mess ! SO THAT’S ALRIGHT THEN ! ?
    More like sorry that Rangers are finished !

  21. Pensionerbhoy

    This reaches the heart of the SFA/SPL incompetence. Why is so much time and energy being focused on getting SE>>>>>>Co????? into a league rather than on the ‘Madness of King Charles’. Such an examination would lead any right minded person to light the fuse of obliteration immediately if for no other reason than a good night’s sleep. Or is it that even in his madness this King of Spin is managing to put a hurricane up a few courtiers? About the only effect this poor unfortunate is having on me is making me reconsider my once rigid stance on euthanasia. Personally, I am prepared to go as far as to state that I would rather listen to the constant wife’s bickering than these demented wailings at the funeral pyre.

    • Pensionerbhoy

      To avoid getting into trouble, may I point out that it is the ‘bickering’ that is ‘constant’ and not the ‘wife’. I may add, however, that she is extremely consistent.

  22. ecojon

    Interesting document at http://www.loyalistlyrics.com/willhelm.pdf with some further detail at: http://www.rangersmedia.co.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=814%3Asfa-illegal-sanctions&catid=101%3Aclub&Itemid=529

    Might be a wind-up but in the current climate anything is possible. Interestingly if it is genuine Green will need to accept the Tupe position of the players and six League titles being removed, I can’t help but think that if League Titles are removed because of EBTs then any cups won in the six years should also be removed.

    I reckon tomorrow could be a crazy day.

    • Marching on Together

      Looks genuine to me. The Rangers-supporting writer of the piece is indulging in complete wishful thinking if thinks that imposting these conditions are illegal. It will be up to newco Rangers if they choose to accept these conditions as a condition of transferring Rangers SFA share to newco Rangers. if Rangers say no, then they can start again as a new club, apply in three years time to the bottom rung of the SFL, and take it form there. if they do accept these conditions, it is a matter of contract law, and they are then barred from appealing or repudiating the conditions, unless as allowed for within the conditions accepted. This is what has happened in England on at least two occasions in similar circumstances with the Football League, and it has has been upheld by a High Court judge.

  23. Jim

    Given that TUPE gives players that have moved over a second chance to walk if there is a “substantial change in working conditions to his or her material detriment” could any player put on the transfer list claim unfair dismissal on the grounds that he thought he was going to be in the first team, and then not only get a Bosman, but also a handy little lump sum for unfair dismissal. In which case those that have walked now have actually saved Green money.

  24. David C MacKenzie

    If the presentation as reproduced in the Telegraph is correct, how can “The Club” even consider applying for ANY league?

    Under recent events (slide 3)

    Squad size:
    1 Sept 2011: 29
    1 Feb 2012: 27
    31 May 2012: 18
    4 July 2012 8 (5 Senior Players)

    If I remember correctly – and I am sure that you will correct me on this – Football is a game between teams of 11 players.

    Unless of course emergency measures are taken to ensure fairness in the game.

    Emergency measures would have to include such measures as

    (1) Opposing team must get three players sent off in the first minute of the game
    or
    (2) Opposing teams must line up so that “The Club” can pick 3 players and 5 substitutes from the opposing team’s squad before the start of the game to show solidarity with a team in crisis.

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