The Rangers FC v the SPL and Dundee Utd – The Plot Thickens

As well as the issues directly relating to Dundee United’s £30,000, analysed in detail below, the statements emanating from the Rangers FC regarding the matter contain some interesting comments, perhaps indicating that Mr Green is not entirely sure of his ground.

First of all, if Mr Green believed that the Rangers FC no longer owe any Scottish clubs a penny, as he stated, then he needs to be educated as to what “debt” actually is. It would be strange for a businessman to have attained the heights and successes he has if not aware of that!

In addition, one of the arguments for the continuity of Rangers is that, whilst the companies which from time to time own the club might change, then club itself goes on forever. Therefore the administration and liquidation of the former owner has no bearing on the continuity of the club. By that analysis therefore, it was not “Rangers” which went into administration, but simply the corporate owner.

Would it surprise fans of the Ibrox team to see Mr Green now admitting that it was the club, and not the company, which went into administration?

Finally turning to the SPL prize money issue, there are lots of interesting legalities regarding waivers, title and gratuitous alienation which I will look at in detail in a soon to arrive post re what BDO might and can do as liquidators. For now there is the possibility that (a) ambiguous legal drafting has caused this mess (b) that newco might have acted, with authority from Duff and Phelps, to the prejudice of oldco’s creditors or (c) some other possibility has resulted in this mess. (I suspect Douglas Adams’ Infinite Improbability Drive is generating the continuing events in this story!)

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I posted a brief note on Wednesday pointing out the views of Rangers and Dundee United regarding settlement of Scottish football debts.

I have now had the chance to sit down at home to look at the additional statements which have been issued. Does this make matters clear?

No.

You will find the relevant official statements, together with further information obtained by STV at the foot of this article.

The matter developed as follows.

 

Has the Rangers FC Settled All Football Debt, Except for the Dispute With Dundee United?

The official statement said that Rangers “settled all debts due to Scottish football clubs.”

This was followed by the sentence “Heart of Midlothian Football Club is due a further payment from Rangers in July next year and this will be paid when it falls due.”

Therefore the Rangers FC has not paid the debt in full, but has paid the debt presently due. Well done, especially as that was a condition of the transfer of membership of the SFA to Sevco Scotland Ltd.

However, Charles Green’s boast was “As of now, Rangers do not owe other Scottish clubs a penny”.

I hate to disagree with Mr Green, but maybe a simple example will assist. I decide to buy a house. I borrow the purchase price from a friendly bank, if such exists. The bank pays the cash to my solicitor who pays it to the seller. I then own a house.

What about the money borrowed from the bank under the mortgage?

I am obliged to pay it off by monthly payments for the next 25 years, and as long as I make all payments on time, money will not be “due”. However, if I am asked to declare what I “owe” and miss out the mortgage, then I would be wrong.

The debt exists, and will do until the final payment is made.

So, as of now, Rangers owe Hearts the final instalment for Lee Wallace, due to be paid next summer.

In the blanket coverage of Mr Green’s declaration that all the debts due had been cleared, this small, but financially significant technicality, seems to have been missed. And that is even before we get to the Dundee United scenario.

 

Rangers Admit that “the Club” Went into Administration, not the “Holding Company”

The statement goes on to say, and Mr Green repeats, “The debts were outstanding from the time the Club went into administration.”

Mr Green adds, “There was no obligation on the consortium buying the Club to pick them up.”

This seems to create another combination in the seemingly infinite set of theories about the continued existence of Rangers.

So we have the comment that the club went into administration – but the club did not go into administration, we are led to believe, it was merely the “holding company” or the company owning the club, or some other comment which works simply to distance club and company. But here the official Rangers FC website states that “the Club” went into administration.

However, “the Club” was then bought by “the consortium”. Not the assets and business of the club, but rather the club itself, which was apparently in administration.

Being legalistic about it, that cannot be and is not correct. Even by the standards of the present debate, it is not right. If the club is separate from the company owning it, how can the club go into administration? That suggests an admission that club and company are synonymous.

I am sure that is not what the statement means, but that is what it says.

 

When Did Mr Green Declare that Settling the Football Debt was the “Right Thing to do”?

Mr Green then refers to knowing that settling the football debt was the right thing to do. However, I have clearly missed his public expression of his intention to do so which only, as far as I am aware, appeared after the SFA, SPL and SFA ordered this done as a condition of SFA membership.

I would be very grateful to any reader who can provide details of when Mr Green or Sevco first made that suggestion.

Of course, if Mr Green thought that, for his £5.5 million, he was buying many millions of pounds worth of players, for immediate re-sale, he might have thought that agreeing to pay football debt was a “good thing”.

 

What About The Non-Hearts and Non-Dundee United Football Debt?

The BBC report today in this story commented that:-

“Domestically, Rangers owed: Hearts (£800,000), Dunfermline Athletic (£83,370), Celtic (£40,337) and Inverness Caledonian Thistle (£39,805).

In a financial report produced by the oldco’s administrators, Duff & Phelps, Dundee United were listed as being owed £65,981, however BBC Scotland has learned the amount is believed to be closer to £30,000.

English clubs are owed more than £700,000. This breaks down as: Manchester City (£328,248), Chelsea (£238,345) and Arsenal (£136,560).

European clubs are also owed more than £1.6m, including the £1,011,763 due to Rapid. St Etienne are owed £252,212, Palermo are due £205,513 and there is a £150,000 debt to Orebro.”

Mr Green seems at pains to mention the Scottish football debt. What about the English, Austrian, French, Italian and Swedish clubs identified?

Maybe someone will ask Mr Green?

£2.3 million is a lot of money to have to find, even for such a cash rich, but not debt-free, club as the Rangers FC.

 

OK – But What About Dundee United?

Finally, after nearly 1,000 words I get to what the piece was meant to be about!

I will refer to Rangers Football Club PLC (in administration) and now known as RFC 2012 PLC (in administration) as oldco, and to Sevco Scotland Ltd, now the Rangers Football Club Ltd, as newco. You will recall that oldco is soon to be liquidated for the benefit of creditors and newco acquired the full assets and business of oldco.

The time line looks to be as follows.

Oldco finishes the SPL season in administration, as it had been since February.

Oldco is entitled to receive prize money from the SPL for finishing second in the league.

On 18th May 2012, the SPL Secretary wrote to oldco stating-

“The Board of the Scottish Premier League Ltd considered the application by Dundee United that the outstanding sum due by Rangers to Dundee United of £31,031.20 be offset against the next sums due to Rangers by SPL Ltd, with the offset sum being paid to Dundee United. The board decided to accede the application to Dundee United and accordingly the sum will be withheld from the next sum payable by the SPL Ltd to Rangers, and the sum will be paid by the SPL Ltd to Dundee United.”

On the face of that letter therefore the SPL were going to withhold prize money due to oldco to settle the debt of £30,031.20 due by oldco to Dundee United.

In the period from 31 March to 29 June the SPL paid oldco £519,200, as shown in Duff and Phelps’ report dated July 2012. It can be assumed that this was paid before the SPL Board decision to withhold money from oldco for Dundee United, so was paid prior to 18th May.

Having paid a first tranche of the money, further sums were due to oldco.

On 14 June newco bought oldco’s “business, history and assets“.

Money owed to a company is an asset. Did Mr Green believe that he had bought the rights to the SPL prize money still held in respect of newco? Buying the whole assets of the business would suggest he had acquired those rights.

Therefore, as at 14 June, either (a) the SPL prize money was now due to newco, having been acquired from oldco or (b) it remained due to oldco and newco had no claim on it at all. In the former scenario, as a matter of law, there would have been no obligation on Sevco Scotland Ltd, as it then was, to settle any debts owed by oldco.

Scenario A – Newco Acquire the Rights to the Prize Money

If this was the case, it makes the sale of assets to Mr Green’s dream team for £5.5 million even more remarkable (and questionable).

However, in this scenario, part of the conditions for membership of the SFA “club” was that the right to any such prize money was waived. If the right to the prize money had passed to newco, then, when newco was forced to agree to settle the footballing debts, one wonders why the SPL failed to deal with the latter, or at least tell the parties when the settlement would take place. Neither of these things seems to have happened.

If however the rights were transferred to newco, and then waived by them, the money would not revert to oldco, but would stay in the SPL coffers, potentially for re-distribution to its members.

In that event, it would not be available to settle the Dundee United debt.

Scenario B – Oldco Kept the Rights to the Prize Money

In this scenario, notwithstanding the purchase by Mr Green of the assets, he did not buy the rights to the SPL money. Those rights stayed therefore with oldco.

In that case, Duff and Phelps, the administrators, should have been getting that money back as soon as possible as it would belong, effectively, to the creditors.

However it had been flagged up long ago that the retention of prize money was a risk. In the Duff and Phelps report in April they said:-

14.35 The SPL and SFA rules both contain offset provisions whereby any prize money or other amounts due to the Club can be withheld to offset against any monies which are owing to the SFA/SPL themselves or other members of those organisations. These rules do not appear to include monies falling due at a future point in time.

 

14.36 As at the Appointment Date the Joint Administrators were aware of such creditors (ie the SFA, SPL and SPL member clubs) totalling approximately £1,063,082.

 

14.37 As noted in paragraph 8.6, Dunfermline has notified the SPL of the Club’s failure to pay over ticket monies and a disciplinary hearing had been convened to consider this matter. The outcome of this hearing could have resulted in sanctions against the Club, which could have included a significant financial penalty. Given the above noted offset rule, it was possible that both the monies owed to Dunfermline and any sanction could have been deducted from the Club’s future prize money. In order to avoid the possible financial sanction and consequential increased offset from the future prize money, the Joint Administrators reached an agreement with Dunfermline which has been completed, as noted in paragraph 8.6.

 

14.38 To date no other payments have been made to football related creditors.

 

14.39 If the Company continues to trade in Administration to end of the season, it is possible that any prize money receivable for the Club’s finishing position in the SPL may be subject to offset applied in respect of amounts due to other member clubs of the SPL. Any offset applied by the SPL will be subject to legal review.”

Clearly this was on the agenda then. The fact that D+P were able to receive over half a million pounds from the SPL suggests that their behind the scenes discussions, if any, were effective.

If the rights to the money remained with oldco, then I think the problem comes from the definition of the League, as requiring members, and former members, to be operators of football clubs. In this instance, once oldco sold its assets (excluding the rights to the prize money) to newco, oldco no longer owned or operated a football club. The SPL may have decided that, in those circumstances, money due to oldco simply went back into the pot for all its members, as envisaged in the SPL rules. In that case getting Mr Green to waive any claim by newco was simply a “belt and braces” approach.

I cannot imagine that D+P agreed to waive a claim to the SPL money. That would clearly be prejudicial to creditors.

It therefore leaves the intriguing possibility that the liquidators could pursue the SPL for the oldco prize money, if not satisfied that the SPL withheld it legitimately.

 

Where Does This Take Us?

Dundee United are still owed £31,000.

The SPL is not going to pay that sum. After all, they seem to be saying, newco waived any right to the money, and therefore cannot demand it be used to pay a debt newco accepted.

Mr Green feels he is being punished twice – newco does not get the prize money, and still had to pay Dundee United.

The football authorities, in this case the SFA, might well have to adjudicate among newco, Dundee United and the SPL.

I think the explanation for the mess lies in the five party agreement signed by the SPL, SFA, SFL, newco and oldco. I suspect that the drafting of this has not been tight enough to deal specifically with this issue, or ambiguous enough for both the SPL and newco to believe they are correct. Put simply, Mr Green thought newco was waiving its rights to the money once bills had been paid from it, and the SPL think that the waiver came first.

There is one final potential issue arising here too.

We do not know who agreed the five party agreement on behalf of oldco. Was it Mr Green, acting under the authority of D+P? After all, he had been given an active role in the running of oldco by D+P.

There is, in the absence of transparency and clarity from all parties, the intriguing possibility that Mr Green, on behalf of oldco, as well as newco, gave up any claim to the SPL prize money. In that case, short of there being any compensating benefit for creditors, it is hard to see how such a waiver could stand. The liquidators could be very interested in exactly who represented D+P/oldco and precisely what the five party agreement showed.

Yet again the phrase “gratuitous alienation” looms…

 

Posted by Paul McConville

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The first move in this issue was the official statement from Rangers issued on Monday.

It read as follows.

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RANGERS have settled all debts due to Scottish football clubs. The debts were outstanding from the time the Club went into administration.

Heart of Midlothian Football Club is due a further payment from Rangers in July next year and this will be paid when it falls due.

Charles Green, Rangers Chief Executive, said: “As of now, Rangers do not owe other Scottish clubs a penny. These debts were incurred prior to the Club going into administration and there was no obligation on the consortium buying the Club to pick them up.

“From the outset, I have made it clear that I firmly believe the correct thing for the Club to do is settle these football debts as a priority and we kept our word.

“That is what we have done and substantial funds were lodged with the SFA 10 days ago to be discharged to settle the outstanding debts.

“Furthermore, the Club was given a written commitment from the SPL in May that it would settle an outstanding debt to Dundee Utd.

“It was frustrating to be informed by the SFA several days after they received the funds that they did not wish to be a ‘clearing house’ and in fact wanted us to settle the debts directly. Arrangements were then put in place by the Club.”

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Dundee United responded as follows today.

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Following recent press reports and consequent follow up enquiries, Dundee United confirm that the outstanding sums due from the Scottish Cup tie played at Ibrox Stadium last season have still not been paid.

This matter now rests with the football authorities and no further comment will be made by the Club.

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Rangers hit back as follows.

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RANGERS Football club has today released the following statement.

Rangers Chief Executive Charles Green said: “As previously stated, Rangers Football Club can confirm it has paid all outstanding debts to Scottish football clubs, in addition to agreeing to waive all claims to unpaid fees accrued last season, as part of the Five Party Agreement which was a condition of SFA membership.

“A letter from the SPL to the Club – dated 18 May 2012 – stated ‘The Board decided to accede to the application of Dundee Utd and accordingly, the sum will be withheld from the next sum payable by the SPL Limited to Rangers and the sum will be paid by the SPL Limited to Dundee Utd.’

“Why the SPL have not paid Dundee Utd the outstanding sum as previously agreed is a question that they need to answer.

“We wrote to Dundee Utd on Monday explaining the SPL had previously confirmed they would pay it.

“I spoke to Stewart Regan and his solicitor this morning and provided them with copies of all relevant documentation.”

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STV reported as follows today regarding the SPL issue.

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Rangers insist the Scottish Premier League are to blame over an outstanding amount due from the club to Dundee United.

The Ibrox side waived any claim to £2.55m in prize money from the league for the 2011/12 season, as part of the agreement which saw them granted the transfer of the club’s Scottish FA membership.

Rangers also agreed to settle all football debts, this week making payments to Celtic and Hearts. Responsibility for a circa £66,000 debt to Dundee United, relating to gate receipts from a Scottish Cup tie last campaign, was taken on by the Scottish FA and SPL, Charles Green believes.

STV has learned that half of the approximate £66,000 share of gate receipts was paid by the Scottish Football Association last season after money due to Rangers was diverted to Tannadice.

STV understands the SPL does not believe that there is a firm agreement to make the remaining payment. However, the amount remains unpaid and Rangers have reiterated that they have a written agreement with the SPL for the league to pay United from prize money from the 2011/12 season.

The agreement was clarified in a letter, the wording of which has been obtained by STV, sent by SPL secretary Iain Blair to Rangers on May 18 this year.

It read: “The Board of the Scottish Premier League Ltd considered the application by Dundee United that the outstanding sum due by Rangers to Dundee United of £31,031.20 be offset against the next sums due to Rangers by SPL Ltd, with the offset sum being paid to Dundee United. The board decided to accede the application to Dundee United and accordingly the sum will be withheld from the next sum payable by the SPL Ltd to Rangers, and the sum will be paid by the SPL Ltd to Dundee United.”

Should agreement not be reached over payment then the Scottish FA could be asked to act as arbitrators by Dundee United.

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90 Comments

Filed under Administration, Charles Green, Football, Football Governance, Insolvency, Rangers, SFA, SPL

90 responses to “The Rangers FC v the SPL and Dundee Utd – The Plot Thickens

  1. ecojon

    @Paul

    An excellent, clear post and I now look forward to part 2: How this affects FA clubs and also Foreign clubs. No resting of laurels paul 🙂

  2. ecojon

    And a starter for 10 From the Scotsman.

    “Rapid Vienna say they have still not been paid by Rangers for Nikica Jelavic

    RAPID VIENNA say they are still owed over £1m for the transfer of striker Nikica Jelavic to the oldco Rangers. The Austrian side say they have not been paid or informed if they will receive the remaining £1,011,733 from the £4m sale of the striker two years ago.

    Rapid have informed FIFA about the issue after becoming aware that Green’s new administration were settling some of the debts of the oldco Rangers noting that the position of foreign debtors had yet to be clarified.

    The club spoke out yesterday in light of club chief executive Charles Green’s assertions that all money owed by the liquidated Rangers had now been paid to Scottish clubs.

    Rangers have 15 days to pay Rapid or they could face punishment from FIFA. Peter Klinglmiller, director of communications for Rapid, told The Herald: “The new owners at Rangers have said that it is important that every football debt is paid and we want that to be done for us now, especially as Jelavic is now with Everton.

    “We have to be treated fairly over this. The last installment of Jelavic’s transfer fee has to be paid by the end of August. There is still time for the money to be paid.”

    It is understood Green is attempting to retrieve the money from the Jelavic deal.

  3. ecojon

    @Paul – the comment: “It is understood Green is attempting to retrieve the money from the Jelavic deal.”

    I wonder what hat or hats he is wearing on that quest?

    • swirlz69

      Surely any monies due from the sale of Jelevic to Everton are due to oldco RFC and therefor to the creditors thereof?

      • ecojon

        @swirlz69

        In a ‘normal’ situation I would agree with you but this whole affair has been dedevilled with things that most certainly ain’t ‘normal’.

      • Brian Jeffrey

        No. Green bought all the Oldco’s assets which would include all monies due to the Oldco.

        Surely though the crux of this whole thing is that, so far as the SPL and SFA are concerned any reference to Oldco or Newco are irrelevant. They are dealing directly with the entity that is “The Club”. Whether or not Oldco or Newco are liable for the debts in a legal sense is not the point at issue. The point at issue is the Rangers, as a club and as a member of both the SPL (then) and the SFA remain liable for footballing debts as part of an agreement which the club reached to secure membership. The SPL and other clubs are not chasing either the Oldco or the Newco for the recovery of debts they are chasing the club, which both the Oldco and Newco have been at pains to insist is a continuing entity in its own right.

  4. campsiejoe

    One of the most interesting things in all of these statements, is that nobody makes any difference between old club and new club
    They simply keep referring to Rangers
    This is a deliberate ploy to muddy the waters, and ensure that it appears there has been no break between old club and new club
    Is it too much to expect that one day those who inhabit this vipers nest will somehow manage to tell the truth

    • As in the STV quote “The Ibrox side waived any claim…”

      (The) (newco) (oldco) Rangers
      Rangers 2012
      (The) Ibrox (side)
      The (old) (new) (Charles Green’s) Club
      Sevco (5088) (Scotland) (Limited)
      Green

      The main parties continue to obfuscate by using the above terms (delete the bracketed terms as and when it suits) as the business entity. Really the mainstream media have participated willingly in this obfuscation. I think the courts will immediately see through this amateurish rogue traderism.

    • ecojon

      @campsiejoe

      yea but when it suits them they are happy to use the distinction like the Dundee Uts £30k – they have no principles I’m afraid.

  5. Seems to me that this sordid club are getting away with all kinds, just hope that there is somebody out there big enough to take them on and make them suffer for the years of cheating. And whoever owes Dundee United get them paid.

  6. Paul, you emphasise the lack of clarity in the discussions between the parties. I think this is the root of the problem. I recall one incident that supports your hypothesis.

    When I was at school our teacher sent a boy to the shop across the road for 10 Embassy tipped. The boy asked what to do if there were no Embassy. The teacher told him to “Get anything”.

    The boy returned with a loaf.

    Well he did say ‘anything’.

    • ecojon

      @Joseph McGrath

      The classic of course is the old WW1 case where the message sent by mouth of ‘send up reinforcements’ ended up as ‘send us three and fourpence’.

      A bit like just about everything Green says as you later find out that the words spoken were meant to mean something totally different and that’s before he launches into French 🙂

      • Ernesider

        Ecojon

        Somewhat weird coincidence. That type of mishearing or misinterpretation is known as a MondeGreen.

        (Second capital mine)

      • Ernesider

        And given Charles’s acknowledged expertise in the language, I am sure he will accept that a reasonable translation of ‘MondeGreen’ would be the world of Green’

  7. dirtymac

    Something that stands out and should, once more, be of interest to certain parties is the following: As previously stated, Rangers Football Club can confirm it has paid all outstanding debts to Scottish football clubs.

    Who can confirm that the debts are paid? The Rangers Football Club, I hear you reply. Well, no, apparently it’s Rangers Football Club.

    I think this is something that cannot be highlighted enough. There is a very clear train of thought, not just amongst the fans, but also the owners, as to who this club is and it’s not a new company.

    Over to you Hector.

  8. Michael

    If it looks like Rangers, acts like Rangers, talks like Rangers then it is probably Rangers.

    OK Mr Green, can we taxpayers have our £100m please? Installments (+ interest) will do.

  9. mick

    Greens under presure money wise and its mounting up both the debt and the presure from it will make him give more head banging speeches ,all the small creditors must be upset at soccer debts paid and there not ,why did the sfa not say pay the small creditors why just the clubs ,it the sloppyest dirtyist publisesed pheniox company ever ,and or soccer national asosation the sfa are well endorseing it they should have been disbanded, as its not fair on the rest of scottish soccer or the scottish public to see this in the paper every day ,

  10. mick

    the sfa gave money to dundee united last season for a cup game should all monies related to oldco not have been frozen and highlighted to d&ps they had no right to touch that money ,the sfa while oldco were in admin were paying soccer debts for them via monies owed that just is not right if a was a small creditor a would be stright down my lawyers about it ,its the most publicly viewed phenoix ever its shocking and its time holyrood took a stance

  11. charliedon

    I haven’t had time to check back but I’m fairly certain I remember Duff & Phelps saying that the Jelavic transfer money from Everton would not go into the creditor’s pot but would form part of the assets to be sold on to a newco.
    I remember this because the statement almost made me fall over in amazement.

    • ecojon

      @charliedon

      I don’t actually remember it as stark as that and I’ll need to go and look again. I seem to remember thinking that the documentation on where the next two equal payments would end up as I thought that wasn’t clear in the D&P report.

  12. charliedon

    And I think I am right in saying Jelavic transfer fee = 5.5 million = price to buy assets of oldco = 5.5 million = Duff & Phelps fee = 5.5 million.
    Curious?

    • mick

      @charliedon D&Ps are well a pair of con men a wonder what bdo will make of it all .the jelavic sale might have been preplanned to pay them would not surprise me in the least also it would reduce the risk of the propertys being chopped and sold

  13. mick

    @paul mcc ,great read paul really enjoyed it the main word a have picked up on today is Gratuitous Alienation thats the only word for it from d&p,s to the sfa and even the ebts
    Gratuitous Alienation – A transfer of property by a debtor to another person for no consideration or for an inadequate consideration. Such alienations in the period up to 5 years prior to the date of sequestration are open to a statutory challenge by the permanent trustee; alienations outwith that period can only be challenged at common law.

    the sfa have broke all moral ethics as money owed to old co should go to creditors ,D&Ps have under valued the sale so agian the small creditors get less ,And last but not least the ebt,s should be payed back to oldco creditor pot as it would cover debt ,who will bill the ebt takers the bdo for small creditors or the taxman for just the tax ,a feel as its a loan the bdo should demand the lot in full .

  14. listentoyerda

    Who Exactly is paying Duff&Phelps at the moment? They are still there! are they not?

  15. Andy

    So essentially were left with no knowledge until such time as we find out, who made the original deal with SPL, oldco, newco or Green and then if the wording of 27 July agreement was detailed enough to clarify and support the SPL’s position, as they clearly agreed with someone prior that they would pay the £30k. Ultimately, this will probably come down to the SFA to advise, as I doubt very much they will want this affair dragged out in public as to only further highlight their own incompetencies….

    Now the intriguing bit for me is, surely Green acting on behalf of both Oldco and Newco at the time of the deal would consititute a conflict of interest? My mind is a bit boggled with the actual definition so clarification on this would be helpful..

    And finally, with respect to Gratutious Alienation, well to all extents and purposes the HMRC and all other creditors appeared to be well aware of what would happen in the event that the CVA was rejected and certainly if there were objections to the ‘price’, then you would have expected them to have been aired before now. Perhaps not. I do not know if the will or consent of creditors is required to challenge this, or if BDO assume they have the authority and would pursue regardless if they felt this was in the best interest of the creditors….and then if they come calling for more money, do Newco have legal grounds from which to sue D&P if mis-sold, OR as there were no other bidders, and ‘price’ isn’t derived from the amount it is cost to build a stadium etc, but from what the market is willing to pay, and thus the Gratious Alienation arguement falls quite early on.

    • ecojon

      @andy

      whataboutery just doesn’t begin to do justice to your post – I’ll need to get yoiur mate Green to invent another word

  16. Peter

    So why would the owner of a global brand with a value of over £50million be bickering about £30k and be spending so much time on the matter when there is so much else to do. There are three possible answers: cash flow crisis, cash flow crisis or cash flow crisis. All the classic signs are there.

    • Andy

      @Peter

      Or because they don’t beleive the debt is theirs to pay. No matter how big or cash rich a company is, they certainly don’t pay other companies bills!!

      Particularly, rightly or wrongly if they feel they have axe to grind with that company. The size of the bill is irrelevant.

      For instance, take Rail companies, they get huge subsidies from the government and there is the potential that for ease of transaction some bills either way may be offset at different times, and the government may settle a bill on behalf of a rail company (I dont know if it does happen, but it could), as this was what was agreed….If the government then say were not paying that, be it £500 or £50m the rail company is going to dispute their liability IF they beleive they have the right to do so and that the government had agreed to pay the bill.

      How on earth can cashflow be a problem at this very second in time, 30,000+ season ticket sales last couple of weeks and 7,000+ match tickets for the game on saturday, at this moment in time, cash flow is the very least of their worries – Not saying it won’t be in the future but right now thats just nonsense!!

      • Peter

        Granted, no businessman would willingly pay a debt he feels is not his., But that is not my point. Read the startements and tell me you smell a well-oiled, well-funded organisation pushing forward into a bright future.
        Personally, I smell cash flow crisis. i can’t dispute your figures on season tickets and gate reciepts, but you fail to balance that with the routine outgoings, remaining football debts and numerous other one-off drains on dubious reserves.

      • Andy

        @Peter,

        Fair enough that’s your view. I have said on previous posts that I am still wary of Green, but having said that, Zeus Capital have a bob or two, and if Mike Ashley has/does sign up the shareholders may be particularly wealthy people or organisations capable of ensuring there is no cash crisis, in fact Zeus could comfortably do this themselves. Even if they didn’t, you are looking at approx 9m cash flow in within the past few weeks, and I cannot spot where we would have such large immediate liabilities from….Not that I am discounting the idea that there may well be a problem in the future, just now seems highly unlikely.

        I beleive the arguement is over principal, and in this new era of Scottish Football where integrity supercedes all other virtues, then we are quite right, if we beleive that integrity has been breached to challenge so. It is evident that Mr Green beleived he had settled all immediate debts due (granted hearts all still owed an instalment) and was as suprised as any, as to why the Spl had not paid what they had previously agreed to. Now whether that payment should have been made from the Spl account or Newco account is now for the Sfa to decide. Oddly enough, they and the Spl have been very quiet on the matter since it all went public….Surely not spending more of the games money on lawyers to clarify their position…

        There hasn’t been a peep from Hearts, Celtic and co, regards their debts, so I think it is safe to assume that they are satisfied.

        Jelavic funds are not due until end of August, therefore I don’t see why people bother speculating on whether it will be paid or not, if agreed it will, if not agreed it won’t.

      • ecojon

        @Andy

        I realise you are a very new businessman but cash flow is a 2-way street: It comes in and it goes out. You don’t have a clue what Green is paying out so you don’t know whether that is in excess of income or not. It may be a problem It may not.

      • Andy

        @ecojon

        I have worked in accounts most my life so I understand how cash flow works, all I am saying is that, with respect to a football club, and in this case particular, season ticket sale week is veery unlikely to be a problem for cash flow, assuming he has run of the mill football club costs to pay for….Even the conman whyte was able to last 4 months before running in to trouble and he had a substantialy higher cost base and only slightly improved income….When paying out £500k for the other debts, I’m fairly sure the £30k wouldn’t have been a problem to add on, if we felt we were liable, it seems unlikely that we would pay out such a sum whilst desperately clinging on to just 6% of the value..

      • Peter

        @Andy

        Let’s look at Mr Green’s options.

        Someone expects you to pay £30k, but you believe 100% that you have no contractual obligation. What do you do? Pass it to your lawyers and get on with something else.

        Someone expects you to pay £30k, but you believe the contractual terms are a muddle – lashed together in haste. What do you do? Sit down privately with the other side and find a solution – a bit of give and take – after all we have to deal with these people for years to come – but business is business – my best and final offer is £1. Lawyers are not a cost effective solution for such a small sum.

        Someone expects you to pay £30k, you believe the contractual terms are a muddle – lashed together in haste. But, you don’t want to spend a penny because your spreadsheet is looking red a few months down the line. What do you do? Call the press and get your story out hard and strong – hoping to embarrass the other side, who are feeling a bit battle-weary, into backing down.

        Someone expects you to pay £30k, you believe the contractual terms are a muddle – lashed together in haste. What do you do? Take the opportunity to pick a fight with the other side to pursue other motives

        Which do you think Mr Green choose?

      • @Andy

        your usual attempt at balance has slipped uncontrolably on this occasion, THEY whoever under CG agreed as part and parcel of being allowed to continue playing football in Scotland to pay all footballing debts I believe within an acceptable period of time. Given that they now have pockets full of cash then they should be discharging ALL liabilities, you were remiss the other day when you were vocal on the fact that TRFC were the only debt free football club in Scotland.

        Again you need to check your facts and I would suggest a trawl through the painstakingly put to together commentaries on this and other balanced factual sites to bring yourself up to speed.

        Jelovic was bought by RFC when CFC could not due to financial prudence, meet his wage demands and ultimately he was a main contributing factor to the success of the team at that time. RFC played a player without paying for him, not paying the taxes and insurance for his time and have sold him and again benefited without paying any monies to Vienna. This is simple terms is another example of outright cheating.

        I believe that TRFC will fail, with no disaster for scottish football because we are strong enough without TRFC and more simply put, now “we don’t care” and after the happenings of the last 2 weeks its obvious Scottish football was mistaken in extending the hand of assistance on the understanding the future would be different, the only change is that the bile that is churned from sections of TRFC support is growing aggressively and worsening as every day passes.

        Sad. very very sad.

      • Andy

        @peter

        Was it not dindee utd that released thr story to the press? Having said that he had paid all debts surely green had a right and was expected to claify his position which he did, the fact that the spl have looked at best foolish is neither here nor there.

        At the end of the day we wont fail, were not going away and the sooner you guys accept that and stop inventing non stories of imaginary spirals of debt without any facts then you concentrate on either your own team or getting used to the fact that we’ll still be here in another 140 years…

        And for the record most sensible minded celtic fans that i am friends with cant wait for us to be back, because those were the games they and loved, scottish football along with any other sport will die if there is no competition..there is likely to be more fans at ibrox tomorrow than there was for celtics league furling…where on earth have they gone??

        Anyone that thinks scottish football without a competitive rangers and celtic, with no bigotry attached, is simply an idiot!

      • Peter

        @Andy

        Your little outburst suggests you’ve missed the point of this blog – mischievous but rigorous examination of facts, protagonists, motivations and probable outcomes. (Paul, please correct me if I’ve misrepresented your fine blog.)

        I won’t be responding to your comments again – but don’t take that as tacit agreement. Remember, if you hold strident views and no one disagrees with you – they are telling you something loud and clear.

    • ecojon

      @Andy

      It is becoming increasingly obvious that you either don’t actually read what other people say or completely disregard what they say. I will say again and it is quite simple: ‘You haven’t a clue what Green is paying out and until you do you haven’t a clue whether there is a cash-flow problem’.

      And you say you have worked in accounts most of your life well it must have only been on one side of the ledger.

  17. Ernesider

    Paul

    Myself when young did eagerly frequent
    Doctor and Saint, and heard great argument
    About it and about: but evermore
    Came out by the same door where in I went.

    The Rubaiyat

    By Omar Khayyam
    (Translated by Edward Fitzgerald)

    • Ernesider

      A very wise old guy was Omar (1048-1131) and I would like to draw to the attention of our neighbours in blue who occasionally drop in for a visit, what are probably his most famous lines:

      The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
      Moves on: nor all your Piety nor Wit
      Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
      Nor all your Tears wash out a Word of it.

    • ecojon

      @Ernesider

      The Rubaiyat – I frequented it well in Byres Road during a very well enjoyed youth

  18. Tam Makondi

    Why doesn’t someone ask Celtic if they have been paid or, better still, Peter Lawwell should get rid of his yellow streak and, if not paid, take steps to put this equally thieving mob, THE new rangers with the old habits, into liquidation. After all, his bonus for this year will probably be nearer the thirty thousand mark. Its about time he was starting to earn it.

    • ecojon

      @Tam Makondi

      Why don’t you contact them if it interests you enough?

    • ecojon

      @Tam Makondi

      If you are jealous about anyone’s wages or bonus I would suggest that perhaps you should retrain for a better-paid job. It would be a wrongful allocation of resources at Celtic Park for lawwell to be involved in chasing a £30k amount which is why I’m amazed at Green being involved except there I suspect an ulterior motive as I begin to suspect with you.

    • Ernesider

      Tam Makondi

      The Veps language (also known as Vepsian) Closely related to Finnish.

      The word makondi in Veps translates into English as mole.

      Mole: A spy who operates from within an organization, especially a double agent.

      So Tam the Mole, have you been trying to tell us something all along.

      Maybe not. Just an ‘agent provocateur’ I would have thought, though a particularly inept, clumsy and obvious one.

  19. Tam Makondi

    That should read nearer the three hundred thousand mark.

  20. TheBlackKnight

    did anyone else hear the ‘Kit-Kat’ break?

  21. hughmcvey

    A couple of observations.

    1) Re. the identity of what went into administration. Surely it can only be the Company which owned ‘The Club’. The more intangible concept of ‘The Club’ cannot in itself go into into administration as it is not Incorporated, does not have Mem & Arts or Shareholders, etc. Adminstration applies only to Companies.

    2) As I recall, the payment schedule to Hearts for Lee Wallace was:
    2011 – £700k ‘up-front’
    July 2012 – £500k
    July 2013 – £300k

    It was reported by the Edinburgh Evening News on 12 July 2012 as follows:
    “HEARTS can expect to receive the next installment of Lee Wallace’s transfer fee due from Rangers later this month after the Scottish Premier League froze money due to the Glasgow club in order to pay debts owed to others.
    League officials are withholding £900,000 due to Rangers for finishing second in last season’s SPL after they entered administration in February. That will be used to settle outstanding football-related debts, and Hearts stand to be the main beneficiaries.”

    Did the SPL pay the £500k due to Hearts in July? Or is this another Dundee United type dispute as certainly Green could not have paid this out a total of £500k which supposedly cleared all currently-due debts to Scottish Clubs. And, if the SPL did pay, were they entitled to do so rather than put the monies in the Creditors’ Pot. Bear in mind, this article precedes the 5-way meeting of 29 July.

  22. mick

    are the sfa going to revoke the licence ????

  23. stubomir

    Firstly, let it be know, Paul, that i am a huge fan of your blog. A thoroughly interesting and intellectual angle to all of the key issues/stories relevant to this whole sorry situation.

    Secondly, apologies if anyone has already raised ths angle. I think that the agreement with regards prize money due to oldco from last season has been waived by all parties due to the fact that the unpaid tax of £15m last season gave oldco an unsporting advantage and allowed them to fulfil their fixtures and see out the season. I think motherwell would have a very good claim to that money given that they would have been second in the league had oldco paid the tax and gone bust before the end of the season.

    Rather that make this valid assertion and officially remove oldco from the prize money pecking order, it seems that the SPL would rather indulge in some behind the scenes jiggery pokery. This probably also has something to do with the fact that they wouldn’t be able to us “oldco’s” prizemoney to pay off “oldco’s” domestic debts.

    Thoughts?

  24. Garibaldi

    It seems clear to me that Green’s strategy is to use Oldco or Newco when ever it is to his advantage, a classic example is some of the posters McCoist has been usuing in the Press to promote the Club when attempting to sell Season Tickets, claiming ‘Rangers then, Rangers Now, Rangers forever’. I know that if I was a creditor of Oldco & I seen that ‘Rangers’ are still wearing the same strip, playing in the same Stadium, claiming that nothing has actually changed except a slight alteration to their name by adding ‘The’ I would not be pleased.

    • mick

      @garibaldi well said its a slap in the face to small creditors ,a think the academic business term for it is “phoniex company”

  25. mick

    Lord Nimmo Smith will chair the independent commission appointed to investigate alleged undisclosed payments made by Rangers to players.

    The Scottish Football Association also appointed Lord Nimmo Smith to chair their own inquiry into activities at Rangers earlier this year.

    An SPL statement read: “The Scottish Premier League today announced that the independent commission to inquire into alleged EBT payments and arrangements made by Rangers in relation to players during the period from 2000 until 2011 will be chaired by Lord Nimmo Smith.

    “The other members of the independent commission are Mr Charles Flint QC and Mr Nicholas Stewart QC.

    “The commission will determine whether during that period in relation to alleged EBT payments and arrangements for players, Rangers was in breach of the relevant SPL rules.

    “In the event that the independent commission decides that such breach or breaches occurred the independent commission will have powers to determine what sanctions, if any, are appropriate

  26. mick

    Alex Thomson tweet – made a mess of embedding it
    The legal firm Harper MacLeod who investigated the matter for the S Premier League has concluded: “there is a case to answer”

  27. mick

    trendmap glasgow

  28. JimBhoy

    @tam wit….?

  29. mick

    @jim hi jim what you make of todays events the new panel its getting close to the title stripping lol

    • Glazert Tim

      Lord Nimmo Smith. Messrs Flint and Stewart (QC’s) I read on the BBC. Also note both QC’s have a strong background in dealing with Sporting irregularities.

      Should make for interesting/worrying reading depending on which side of the great wall of Charlie you live on.

      On paper they look like they will give it a vigorous going over. Well, we live in hope.

  30. mick

    http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/32542 just thought a would add this for every1 to view and sign ,its genocide agianst muslims in burma women and children killed and made homeless and forced to live in refugee camps .it takes two minutes and can make a small differance

    • I don't understand what mick is trying to say..... but I'm willing to try

      mick, for every time you get my goat with your grammar, you get my support with something like this. Well done.

  31. Wot_No_Rangers?_HA_HA_HA

    Noticed the Oldco Rangers badge on “proud” display on the background board at Sally 5 bellies press conference today. Oldco when it suits, Newco when it suits……………………….Interesting to read your views on this Paul !!

  32. daniel mc elroy

    why were D@P given so long a time to wind up rangers and then an attempt to buy them or assist in the buying of a french x player, was the sale of jelavic a quick sale, as to secure there own wage demand, and was the agreement of half wages, not to be brought into considerations
    as time was marching on, and the 8 man team where giving Rangers the time to complete the season, knowning fine well with doing this there bill was on free tilt, had they wound up the company at the first week, the money saved on players wages, would have been more benificial to the creditors, this was even the case before they started to think about players going on half wages, and what was the exact wages paid out from the adminastrators purse, how much was taken from the creditors kitty by D@P

  33. charliedon

    @TheBlackKnight at 2.58pm

    The link you provided is indeed an excellent read and, in my opinion, cuts right to the heart of the matter. They are a newco and should have no right to the old Rangers’ prize money. If they don’t pay their football debts in full as per the agreement with the SFA, their licence should be revoked. Simple.

  34. charliedon

    @Andy at 7.02pm.

    I don’t understand your final paragraph Andy, perhaps you’ve made a typo. But if you are saying what I think you are saying, i.e. that Scottish football is no use without a competitive Rangers and Celtic, with the attendant bigotry, then that us very sad indeed and I’m not even going to comment.
    You also say that Scottish football will die if there is no competition. I completely agree. Unfortunately, it has been slowly dying for years because only 2 teams have been genuinely in the running for the league title with Rangers and Celtic so far in front of the rest. And in Rangers’ case, mainly because they were cheating. I believe the game was actually approaching its terminal stages if things continued as they were. In my view, the meltdown from the Rangers fiasco may actually save our Scottish game.
    I am actually down in Glasgow tonight and, lo and behold, I met a couple I know from my neck of the woods down for the weekend match at Ibrox (supporting Rangers). This, in my opinion, keenly illustrates what’s wrong with the Scottish game. If people would go to their hometown stadiums and support their hometown clubs instead of gloryhunting and supporting a team more than 100 miles away simply because they have been suuccesful, we would all have a much better competition.
    Rant over.

    • ecojon

      @charliedon

      I had a totally drunken night toinight with work colleagues who support various different teams and it’s interesting listening to what they say and important.

      They ain’t caught up in the Rangers/Celtic scenario but more in local teams and few were interested in Rangers and their financial plight – they think their teams and their leagues will survive and I wish them well because with that kind of commitment they might well pull it off,

    • ecojon

      @charliedon

      This seems an appropriate sport to re-surface 🙂

      Agree with all except about long distance support ‘ simply because they have been successful’. If that were the reason I don’t know that I would be that bothered because it probably would be a fairly small percentage as are people who have moved from Glasgow to the airts and pairts o’ Scotland..

      However, in my experience the real motivation of the travellers has less to do with footballing success but more to do with bigotry. Of course I could be wrong and pehaps it’s just because the people I talk of tend to make their presence and motivation felt in a very public way. I therefore accept that there might be hordes of football-loving Rangers fans fly down from the Outer Hebrides once a fortnight,

      • Marching on Together

        The Outer Hebrides in the 1970s had a Rangers and Celtic Supporters Club. Yes, joined together in one organisation, and they all seemed to get on fine.

        No religious bigotry, there, no sir.

  35. For the sake of clarity, folks, drop the reference to ‘THE’ being added. It was not. The original Company was ‘The Rangers Football Club P.L.C.’

  36. Doc

    Another excellent post. Paul and Ecojon have been the ultimate and prime decipherers in the labyrinth of Scottish football. There is one aspect of the Ibrox club situation that is a concern of mine, the rule regarding how many clubs a player may play for in one season. There are more than enough contributors and authors within this blog to confirm my understanding of the rule in question:

    I am under the impression that a player can only be registered with two clubs in a year and therefore question Rangers ability to sell players.

    For my example I will use Mr Bedoya: Mr Bedoya began the season registered with Rangers(IA)[now RFC2012], was then transfered, under TUPE, to Sevco Scotland [now The Rangers] and has since been transferred to Helsingborgs IF. Is this a breach of the ‘two clubs per season’ rule. I’m not sure about the wording of the rule, what is allowed, not allowed and I can’t be arsed looking into it, as I’m too lazy, but I would be interested in your thoughts and observations with regard to this particular rule or my misunderstanding of it.

  37. David C MacKenzie

    III. REGISTRATION OF PLAYERS
    Article
    5
    Registration
    1. A player must be registered at an association to play for a club
    as either a professional or an amateur in accordance with the
    provisions of article 2. Only registered players are eligible to
    participate in organised football. By the act of registering, a
    player agrees to abide by the statutes and regulations of FIFA, the
    confederations and the associations.
    2. A player may only be registered with one club at a time.
    3. Players may be registered with a maximum of three clubs during
    one season. During this period, the player is only eligible to play
    official matches for two clubs. As an exception to this rule, a player
    moving between two clubs belonging to associations with overlapping
    seasons (i.e. start of the season in summer/autumn as opposed to
    winter/spring) may be eligible to play in official matches for a third
    club during the relevant season, provided he has fully complied with
    his contractual obligations towards his previous clubs. Equally, the
    provisions relating to the registration periods (article 6) as well as to the
    minimum length of a contract (article 18 paragraph 2) must be respected.
    4. Under all circumstances, due consideration must be given to the
    sporting integrity of the competition. In particular, a player may not
    play official matches for more than two clubs competing in the same
    national championship or cup during the same season, subject to
    stricter individual competition regulations of member associations.

    • David C MacKenzie

      I should also add that it is only PROPERLY registered players that may play in organised football, and that there are consequences for playing improperly registered players. Sorry about that.

      I add that because elsewhere, I remember somebody arguing that the regulations do not stipulate PROPER registration, just that you need to be registered.

  38. David C MacKenzie

    I meant to add that that is from the FIFA “Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players” but my temperamental computer decided to post it without so much as a by your leave.

    • Doc

      Thanks for your reply, Mr MacKenzie, your comment (and/or copying) has certainly cleared that up in my mind. So, therefore, if I understand it correctly then, Mr Bedoya, could not transfer to another club as he has been registered with three different clubs this season?

  39. Doc

    I must doff my cap to ecojon and, espeicially, Paul. I first discovered this blog when I was trying to make sense of the Tommy Sheridan fiasco and I’ve been an avid reader since, I try not to comment (my laptop should have a breathalyser) but I’m always interested in what is written. Could Paul breakdown and analyse the outcome of Seldon V Clarkson Wright and Jakes (Supreme Court, May?) and concentrate more on the legal side? I think ecojon has the football side sewn up

  40. Doc

    Mr McConville, is it your coupon (and cuppa) pictured in this link?
    http://www.labourhame.com/archives/author/paul-mcconville

  41. charliedon

    @ecojon at 11.37pm

    I hope you enjoyed your social and drunken evening!
    Many of my footballing acquaintances also take only a passing interest in the Rangers issue and some rely on me for just a quick update of the latest situation. I’ve been concerned about the state of Scottish football for time, mainly due to the lack of real competition and I’ve been steadily losing interest over the last few years. But the Rangers situation in some ways has re-stimulated my interest in that it has shaken everything up and perhaps provided an opportunity to grasp and make some changes for the better. Interacting with that, I’ve also had a long standing interest in the workings of the law and so the technicalities and intrigues of the Rangers scenario is of particular personal interest to me. It’s also like reading a good novel, wondering how the plot will unfold and who the will turn out to be the villain. Although in this case, it’s a bit obvious….
    Anyway, my latest post was triggered by Andy claiming there will be a llack of competition with Rangers out of the SPL and gloating about the Ibrox attendance in comparison to other matches. That really got my back up. It’s ignorant and ironic to be glorying over the very problem which blights our competition. I’ve no problem with Rangers having a large support, it’s expected given their geographical position, but the fact that it’s grossly swollen by outsiders with no natural connection to the club is lamentable. (This also applies to a somewhat lesser extent to Celtic.)
    Many times I’ve met fans getting off the bus returning from Ibrox, gloating over their neighbours with cries of “we are the people” etc. I usually manage to treat them with the contempt they deserve. Sometimes I tell them that this particular week I happen to be supporting Barcelona or Man City or whichever team is doing particlarly well somewhere and I can accordingly issue the retort “so my team is even better than yours”.
    I think the sarcasm sometimes hits home.
    Also, apologies to Paul McC for straying well off the point of his blog here.

  42. charliedon

    @ecojon at 11.12am

    Sorry, I did my latest post before I saw your reply at 11.12am so it might appear a little out of sync to you.
    Your view of the Rangers’ support actually raises an interesting difference between our perceptions. Up in my somewhat isolated “airt” the bigotry issue is, in my experience, practically non-existent – the issue of someone’s religion etc just doesn’t come up. I only observe the goings-on in the central belt as an outsider, with
    something akin to blank perplexity.
    I completely get your point about the bigotry issue affecting the support of one club down your way and while I used Rangers fans in my area to illustrate my point, a much bigger concern is the legions who leave Hamilton, Motherwell etc to attend Ibrox every match day. What you say about the background to this is probably spot on. Of course, I have no issue whatsoever with supporters from anywhere supporting a different team through origins, family tradition etc. But I know many people born and bred up here with no connection at all to the Ibrox club who purport to support them. I can only say it hits a raw nerve with me!

  43. Marching on Together

    Paul

    Do you feel the Scottish doctrine of jus quaesitum tertio would kick in here? Clearly when the SPL agreed to Dundee Utd’s request to withhold payment to Rangers oldco, and pass it on to them, this created a benefit to Rangers oldco. If the SPL do not make payment, surely oldco would have the right to sue the SPL?

    Alternatively, the Five Party agreement created a benefit to Dundee Utd, and they would be able to sue the SPL under a JQT. Mind you, the SPL’s board decision to withhold and pay seems to me to set up a pretty binding agreement between the SPL and Dundee Utd that Dundee Utd could sue under.

    Of course there could be problem establishing actual benefit created, and the intention to do so, and intimation to the third party, but hey, I get to start a discussion on JQT on your blog!!

  44. From Green’s latest Rant on BBC Radio Scotland Sportsound:
    “”Either the SPL were drunk when they wrote that letter or they’re incompetent”.
    “”But we’re not going to sit here BEING ABUSED with our hands across our mouths”.
    I suspect Green’s prediction of ‘being fined every week’ is coming to pass.

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