Monthly Archives: February 2013

What A Wonderful Day For Rangers! – by Me at Scotzine

For anyone who just can’t get enough of the Lord Nimmo Smith Commission, I have posted a short piece over at Andy Muirhead’s Scotzine.com.

You can read it by clicking here.

Some of it will be familiar to you if you’ve read all three of my post-verdict posts here today, but not all.

Pop over and have a read, if you want.

Posted by Paul McConville

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Filed under Football Governance, Me at Scotzine, Rangers

“No Unfair Competitive Advantage” for Rangers – How Did the Commission Conclude That?

So far I have tried to explain, insofar as I understand the reasoning, the basis for the Nimmo Smith Independent SPL Commission finding that Rangers oldco broke the rules – it was “deliberate non-disclosure” rather than a clerical error or administrative oversight.

I have also explained how the Commission came to the conclusion that, even though the rules about documents needed for registration were broken, this did not change the status of registered players and thus there were no ineligible players. This was despite the fact that, before this case, it was understood that a defect in registration did invalidate the registration.

The third area for me to look at is that of “unfair competitive advantage”.

How, observers ask, was there not a “competitive advantage” as a result of these manoeuvres. As was heard in evidence in the FTT, the use of the EBT schemes allowed Rangers to afford to pay players money that could not have been afforded if all had been paid by a traditional route, such as by way of salary. How, the question is asked, does that not amount to a competitive advantage, or at least an attempt to gain one? Continue reading

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Filed under Football Governance, Rangers, SPL

Rangers Oldco Not Guilty of Fielding Ineligible Players – Why?

I wrote earlier about the “deliberate non-disclosure” as opposed to “clerical error” aspect of the Nimmo Smith decision.

Now to the next part – how, despite the rules being broken, did Rangers receive a “not guilty” verdict on fielding ineligible players?

I repeat below my summary, and then on to the issue in question.

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Click on the link below for the full decision.

Commission Decision 28 02 2013

The Commission has found Rangers Football Club PLC, (now RFC 2012 PLC) which is in liquidation and which the Commission referred to as “oldco” as will I, guilty on all four counts, namely three of breaching the rules regarding non-disclosure of information regarding payments to players, and the fourth of failing to co-operate with the SPL by providing information when requested to do so. Oldco was not, for reasons I will come to, guilty of playing ineligible players.

The Commission imposed a fine of £250,000 on oldco.

No finding was made against the football club, which was also a party to the case.

No finding was made against newco, as newco was not a party to the case, but which did appear as the owner of the football club, and, as per the Preliminary Ruling of the Commission, had an interest in any penalty imposed on the football club.

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How, one might ask, can the rules about disclosure of documents tied in with player registrations be broken, and yet the players remain eligible? Continue reading

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Filed under Football Governance, Rangers, SPL

Rangers Oldco Guilty of “Deliberate Non-Disclosure” – So Ignore Talk of “Clerical Errors”

Well, I got it right! I predicted in January a financial penalty, and not title stripping as the outcome of the Nimmo Smith Commission.

I will write at length on the 42 page decision, but I think it is worth pointing out a few factors, which I will do in posts today.

First of all – was this all simply an “administrative error”?

Click on the link below for the full decision. Continue reading

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Filed under Football Governance, Rangers, SPL

As We Await the Nimmo Smith Decision, My Reasons For Saying “Rangers FC” Is NOT a New Club

It is remarkable sometimes how what seem like simple questions cannot receive simple answers. One perfect example of such a question goes as follows:-

“Is the present Rangers Football Club a continuation of the former Rangers Football Club?”

Here we are, almost 9 months after Sevco Scotland Ltd bought “the assets and business of Rangers Football Club” from the administrators of Rangers Football Club PLC (as it then was), and just over one year after the company went into administration, and we still do not have the definitive answer.

Some have spoken openly about Rangers “dying”. Fans of other teams are happy to comment on Rangers’ proud history dating back over 140 … days.

Charles Green demands that the club be treated as continuing, and refers to his company having “bought the history and titles”.

The closest “official” determination of the question came from the Preliminary Opinion of the Nimmo Smith Commission appointed by the SPL to deal with the so-called “sneaky payments” (© The Black Knight – I think or it may have been Henry Clarson) issue. The Commission determined that the “club” had a separate, but “non-legal” existence from that of the company which “operated” it. Effectively therefore it can be passed on from one owner to another like any other asset.

However, there is unlikely ever to be a case specifically deciding if the club continues or not. After all, it would need someone to challenge Mr Green’s claims for it to get to a court, and unless someone else claims to have “bought” the history and club, then I do not see it ever reaching that stage.

But the question still remains unanswered. Continue reading

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Filed under Football, Football Governance, Rangers, SPL