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.

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.

Already the “spin” has started, based upon the Commission’s conclusion that there was no “competitive advantage” to Rangers FC as a result of the non-disclosure, that the penalty is imposed solely for an “administrative error” or for a “clerical error”.

Those phrases do not appear in the decision.

Instead it is clear from the reasons published by the Commission that they accepted that there was a deliberate decision made by directors of oldco not to provide the football authorities with information which ought to have been provided.

Paragraph 107 states:-

We nevertheless take a serious view of a breach of rules intended to promote sporting integrity.

Greater financial transparency serves to prevent financial irregularities. There is insufficient evidence before us to enable us to draw any conclusion as to exactly how the senior management of Oldco came to the conclusion that the EBT arrangements did not require to be disclosed to the SPL or the SFA.

In our view, the apparent assumption both that the side-letter arrangements were entirely discretionary, and that they did not form part of any player’s contractual entitlement, was seriously misconceived.

Over the years, the EBT payments disclosed in Oldco’s accounts were very substantial; at their height, during the year to 30 June 2006, they amounted to more than £9 million, against £16.7 million being that year’s figure for wages and salaries.

There is no evidence that the Board of Directors of Oldco took any steps to obtain proper external legal or accountancy advice to the Board as to the risks inherent in agreeing to pay players through the EBT arrangements without disclosure to the football authorities.

The directors of Oldco must bear a heavy responsibility for this.

While there is no question of dishonesty, individual or corporate, we nevertheless take the view that the nondisclosure must be regarded as deliberate, in the sense that a decision was taken that the sideletters need not be or should not be disclosed.

No steps were taken to check, even on a hypothetical basis, the validity of that assumption with the SPL or the SFA.

The evidence of Mr Odam (cited at paragraph [43] above) clearly indicates a view amongst the management of Oldco that it might have been detrimental to the desired tax treatment of the payments being made by Oldco to have disclosed the existence of the side-letters to the football authorities.

I have added emphases. I think that section of the judgement makes it very clear indeed that this was no clerical error or administrative mistake. It was a deliberate, though without any evidence of it being dishonest, decision to hide these details, which ought to have been given to the football authorities. There was no evidence even that the Board had taken advice as to the position.

One might call that, at best, wilful ignorance.

Mr Ogilvie, former Director at Oldco, gave evidence that he knew nothing about the EBT scheme till he got money from it himself, and that he had no recollection of it being discussed by the Board. Bearing in mind how much was paid through these schemes, it might seem that a certain lack of corporate oversight occurred.

The paragraph quoted above makes it clear that this was a deliberate effort to break the rules, not some clerical error.

Next I will look at how the rules about disclosure could be broken, but the players not be ineligible, and after that the “no sporting advantage” decision.

Posted by Paul McConville

 

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175 Comments

Filed under Football Governance, Rangers, SPL

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

  1. hancock

    The baws burst …… will never be back to any game in Scotland …… hope Celtic join the Irish league now

  2. Monti

    Any faith in Justice I had has died.

    • willy wonka

      ” Justice ” didn’t come into it. Much like the FTTT you placed your faith in heresay , rumour and speculation from the usual suspects.
      One of these days these guys might actually get something right.
      Lol.

      • Monti

        At least the (paltry) fine, charged to OLDCO kills the myth of being the same club. Soon to be 1 and counting! Which reminds me,as Sevco 5088 don’t have 3 years accounts & did not fulfil league membership criteria,this title must surely be tainted?

        • willy wonka

          Yes, you are correct. Sellik will win a tainted title later this year.

        • alexander

          Monti, ask the SFL,or honest SFA. WHY sevco were admitted,you will probably be ignored ,same as I was, Last years Tax and Insurance was not paid! from Old Rangers, and the law abiding Good Lord has now fined them £250,000 which he must know cannot be paid (or does he) It is now beyond FARCICAL!.This New English owned debt free club were practically invited into Scottish football,with their players no doubt being properly registered,(I Think) and their parent club seemingly being allowed To ROT In PEACE!

        • NOT GUILTY NOT GUILTY NOT GUILTY HA HA HA HA

          NOT GUILTY NOT GUILTY

      • alexander

        Old Rangers WERE GUILTY! It,s the sentence imposed that is Ludicrous! Fining a club that don,t exist, £250,000 that cant be paid,Seems like something that could only be implemented in the bumbling House of Lords, also! one of these guy,s, the guy who does this blog, Got It Right!

      • The only thing hearsay got wrong was the sentence imposed. Guilty as charged on all 4 counts. A resounding GUILTY if ever I heard one.

      • @peyronie

        Maybe you missed the part where it says “Guilty on all four counts.”?

        • cam

          Jeez,Rab the atmos in your cab must be horrific!
          “awrite pal,did you see the game?
          “Aye ,god we are awful,that Cribari is mince”
          “Ah so you follow the tax cheats then”
          “Eh naw ,the Gers got a not guilty”
          emergency stop! “noo listen pal ahv got a dossier in ma boot wi aw the facts”
          “Its ok mate,jist get me tae the airport”
          “Naw,you started aw this cheating and i’m putting you straight”
          “aw c’mon pal,ah’m no that bothered”
          “shut it” i am”
          “whoa there ya bugger get back in ma cab ya dirty cheating bun”

          • “Eh naw ,the Gers got a not guilty”

            You must be reading a different doc than the rest of us; the one I’m looking at, and Paul’s post both say that they were found guilty on the charges laid before LNS.

            Btw buggered up your comedy commentary somewhat at the end…

        • willy wonka

          To quote – “We therefore proceed on the basis that the breach of the rules relating to disclosure DID NOT give rise to any sporting advantage, direct or indirect. We DO NOT therefore propose to consider those sanctions which are of a sporting nature. “

      • riddrie

        Justice didn’t come into it.

        Agreed.

  3. willy wonka

    “Rangers FC did not gain any unfair competitive advantage from the contraventions of the SPL Rules in failing to make proper disclosure of the side-letter arrangements, nor did the non-disclosure have the effect that any of the registered players were ineligible to play, and for this and other reasons no sporting sanction or penalty should be imposed upon Rangers FC.”

    “Rangers Football Club was founded in 1872 as an association football club. It was incorporated in 1899 as The Rangers Football Club Limited. In 2000 the company’s name was changed to The Rangers Football Club Plc, and on 31July 2012 to RFC 2012 Plc. We shall refer to this company as “Oldco”.”

    “This is an important finding, as it means that there was no instance shown of Rangers FC fielding an ineligible player. ”

    “We therefore proceed on the basis that the breach of the rules relating to disclosure did not give rise to any sporting advantage, direct or indirect. We do not therefore propose to consider those sanctions which are of a sporting nature. “

    • pedro1888

      Scotland’s Shame has No Shame

      • “Rangers Football Club was founded in 1872 as an association football club. It was incorporated in 1899 as The Rangers Football Club Limited.”

        Makes a total nonsense of “club” and “company” being seperate entities: the company WAS the club, ergo the company dies it’s game over.

        One (tainted) & counting.

  4. Paul,

    You state “The paragraph quoted above makes it clear that this was a deliberate effort to break the rules, not some clerical error.” yet a few paragraphs before that in your extract from the findings clearly states “there is no question of dishonesty, individual or corporate”. Whilst the act was deliberate the commission then say that Oldco were not dishonest, how do you explain that. PS I would have preferred a larger penalty but as you have said before Green will probably ignore the fine anyway, its just that the commissions statement does not square, if Oldco have not been dishonest then how can they have broken rules?.

    • riddrie

      “Whilst the act was deliberate the commission then say that Oldco were not dishonest, how do you explain that”.

      Just what I was thinking!

      Perhaps Lord Nimmo-Smith bending over backwards to avoid stripping Rangers titles.

      You should be grateful.

  5. It seems that the majority of people commenting on this site just cannot get it right. BTC, IPO and now this. What this tells me is that the RFC haters, cannot analyse the facts and much prefer to base their opinions on what they want to happen. Some of you should be apologising to the likes of Cam and Carson, but you won’t.

  6. arb urns

    paul before you post further you must look at the different WORDING of the spl rules for player registration AND sfa wording there is a crucial difference that imho lns has missed.

    • cam

      AAAAh,Rabbie,i have some Dundee pehs and cake for you.
      I do have a few cans of bitter in the shed and if the Arabs fanct boycotting any Gers games in future then dinnae fret,the Gers fans will pack the place.

    • Maggie

      @arb urns
      Completely unsurprised by the judgement or should I say
      the punishment. I’m surprised that so many are surprised.
      It was nothing but a formality anyway.The SPL had to be
      seen to do something once the EBT cat was out of the bag.
      Isn’t it ironic ( don’t you think 🙂 ) that what was proclaimed by
      Chico et al at Rangers to be a kangaroo court,has now
      become the fount of all sagacity and justice.

      This will be lost on Sevconians arb,but shouldn’t be :-
      ” You can’t escape moral judgement through a legal
      loophole ” Michael Josephson.

      • Maggie

        @arb
        Meant to say,what is Mr Baxterboy going to do about LNS
        photo on his wall of haters ?
        Does that mean that Paul’s competition to name them all
        is null and void?
        I was SO close to winning that copy of Downfall
        to add to the three I already have 🙂

        • david

          Perhaps you should update your library with some real books, it might help your comprehension.

        • arb urns

          a fine post m….. these bex bissels were handy things in their day and obviously there’s one still in that hampden museum. its dragging teeth this but now we have…. liquidation and walking away from millions owed, tax evasion, tax avoidance, calculated rule breaching, bringing the game into disrepute to a level that only match fixing and bribing a match official could be deemed worse….. what a fine upstanding club we have in our game !!!!

          that poor face painter is now £250k further away from some shekels……

          any truth in the rumour that chico now considering renaming ibrox The LNS Arena.

          will pass on a free copy of downfall, but recommended reading is the spl and sfa rules regarding player reg the diff is staggering in my humble opinion.

      • ecojon

        @Maggie

        Ditto on the Kangaroo Court 🙂

    • iain

      Jeezo…” imho lns has missed” 🙂

      Maybe he should have come here for advice?

    • david

      ha ha ha ha
      obviously you know better!

  7. ektim

    Result fully as expected, and is a joke. How can the old Rangers (RIP) deceive the authorities by not properly registering full details of player contracts and yet these players remain eligible? Paul I await your analysis with baited breath. So one year after Rangers went into administration and subsequently were liquidated, the only punishment has been a 10 point deduction and a meaningless player registration ban after they had signed players! (Note, the SFA threw out the rule book to allow Sevco into the fourth tier of professional football in Scotland, even though Sevco did not meet membership criteria, so there was NO demotion!) Unbelievable but not in this country!

    • cam

      Complain to your MP.
      Write a letter to Brussels.
      Boycott something.
      Kick the dug.
      Go into the lobby cupboard and scream.
      Wipe yer eyes,blow yer nose and go support yer team.

      • willy wonka

        Apart from the last – they’ve already started.
        Lol.

        • cam

          What a great day,,,vindicated at last.
          Called sporting and tax cheats for two years by the biggest bunch of sore losers out.
          They blamed everything on the refs for decades and thought their day had come.
          Our day has come ,now its time to rub it right into every single one of them.
          Thomo.Speirsy,PMacG,Lenny et al

          • Jamie

            Willy Wonka and Carson are in the pub and there is a cat sitting on the table. One man comes in, picks the cat up and looks under it.. Another man comes in and does the same. Carson annoyed says the next man to do that I’m going to ask them why. So the next man comes in picks the cat up and looks under it. Carson says “Why did you just do that?”. The man replies “A man outside told me that there’s a cat in here with two arseholes”

      • riddrie

        I think the Zombies will be the ones who will be crying a lot more tears into their beer before this is over.

        Boo! Hoo! You can’t reorganise the leagues, our winning the third division will mean nothing.

        Boo! Hoo! We’ve been punished enough.

        Boo! Hoo! Big bad third division players are kicking ball players like Ian Black off the Park.

        Boo! Hoo! We want to play in the Champion’s League again but can’t since we are boycotting the SPL.

        Boo! Hoo! We really are in the third division.

        Aw Naw!

  8. Monti

    Going back to the ‘dick’ who attacked Lennon at Tynecastle, and escaped jail ( even though tens of thousands witnessed this, they didn’t convict him?) last summer the SFA & SPL inflicted irreparable damage onto the game in this country. This wasn’t a surprise today,however I feel totally disillusioned. I honestly don’t care if I step foot in a ground in Scotland again! Sevco like the former club Rangers are immune from punishment in this country, we aren’t on a level playing field,the game is broken. Spartans f.c. Made registration error in one game & got kicked out of Scottish cup, Rangers improperly register players ( knowingly) for over ten years & receive £250,000 fine!! The game has died, all clubs who have been opponents of Rangers during 2000 to 2011 have been financially raped, this isn’t a Celtic thing,this farcical ruling today should concern fans of ALL clubs!! What happened to the game today is damaging,there is no trust.

  9. GWG

    What did you all expect from the most corrupt cabal of Masonic basturds on the planet~~~

    GUILTY!! ~~~ But NO CASE TO ANSWER!! Was always going to be the outcome

    • david

      Yes, obviously the Freemasons / Establishment etc etc etc etc etc etc etc

    • willy wonka

      “We therefore proceed on the basis that the breach of the rules relating to disclosure DID NOT GIVE RISE TO ANY SPORTING ADVANTAGE DIRECT OR INDIRECT. We do not therefore propose to consider those sanctions which are of a sporting nature. “

  10. cam

    Well,many learned posters in here have waxed long and lyrical about the “undeniability” of the Gers guilt.
    Just like the BTC,i listened to educated,informed obsessives,sorry interested folk, debate the subject to death.
    Result two spankings,mucho tears and petted lips.
    The BTC was years in the build up,the boxer in the green corner, the undisputed king of sweetie wifery and heavyweight champ at running away,the infamous RTC and his disciples couldn’t take a good thrashing,so they cried foul and demanded that different judges look at the same evidence in the hope that a different verdict is reached.
    Threats of asking new,different sets of judges to keep examining the same evidence,until the preferred verdict is reached just smack of the biggest sore losers of all time.
    Face it bhoys,you came, you bampotted, and you got your butts kicked.
    Now move along and let the Rangers get down to business as usual.
    54 and counting.

    • Macduff

      You still went bust and got let into the 4th division.Yes the BTC and this haven’t gone the way of common sense, but that what being a paranoid Celtic fan is all about! I predicted you would get let off, here and in tweets and it’s no surprise. It’s the establishment club that will always be protected.

      The one good thing, is now every Rangers fan can stop talking about enemies of Rangers, because when it matters you have friends in all the right places. Remind me again who the chairman of the SFA again?

      • ecojon

        @Macduff

        I have to smile and ask where is the ‘Kangaroo Court’ now. As the SFA have done nothing about the smear it would have been lovely if LNS had slapped an enormous contempt fine on Rangers FC to be payable by newco of course 🙂

        Still no doubt we will hear from all and sundry on the Blue side now that the cream of the Scottish Legal profession has cleared them and given them their good name back.

        One can only shudder to think what might have happened to the tribunal members if they had stripped titles. The Darkside sites were making very ominous noises in that direction last night as is their wont.

        • cam

          Sad wee clown.
          Away and shudder yerself tae sleep 😉 i saved that for this special day!

        • Macduff

          Exactly @ecojon, look at some of the postings before 10am and the leaks came. Anger issues or what? The best one was a guy saying he was glad he was in France because he could watch the nuclear explosion from there. Fear or Favour? My Arse.

      • @Macduff

        bam would appear to be another one with an extreme form of dyslexia – not a one of them seems able to read/understand the 5 simple words:

        “Guilty on all four counts.”

  11. charliedon

    Considering the issue is over the correct registration of players, a footballing matter, one would think this is an issue mainly concerning the football club itself rather than the company which owns the club. I think it should therefore be the “club” which should bear any penalty. As newco Rangers is apparently being treated as the same club then surely the current club should bear the penalty, rather than the former company which owned the club.
    Is is obvious that the penalty imposed by the commission has been blatantly contrived so as to leave newco Rangers unaffected.

  12. Littleway

    Paragraph 105 appears to suggest that in order to rule that a competitive advantage existed more evidence would be required. The decision was also made on the basis of the big tax case as it stands at present. So if the tax case decision is overturned….?

    • willy wonka

      Aye. You just cry yourself to sleep hoping that might just happen. lol.
      How many here were saying for months now that the FTTT decision meant NOTHING as far as todays decision went ?
      I could almost hear them wetting themselves in delight as the finer points of how Rangers just HAD to be stripped of titles was debated here.
      btw – I heard that guy Nimmo Smith once ate an orange and a mate tells me he also ran an amber light.
      Something mighty suspicious in all of that. Maybe we should set up another website to investigate it.
      Lol.

      • Littleway

        @ willy wonka

        You appear anxious.. All these references to greetin’, wetting, laughing out loud to yourself, emphasis in capital letters seems suggestive of emotional instability.

        If it’s any comfort to you, those pursuing the case would appear not to have provided the necessary evidence required and were probably not seriously seeking such a ruling in the first place. Their lawyers would have known that from the outset. There was therefore never really a will to pursue this matter to its proper and just conclusion – all this has ever been is a face saving exwercise for the football authorities. By referring to a majority ruling in a case which is under appeal suggests to me (imho) that the door is wide open for an appeal.

        Dinna forget to keep in touch wi yersel’ sonny!

        • willy wonka

          Tell me, who were “those pursuing the case” ?
          Could it be those who demanded that Rangers be stripped of FIVE titles before they’d be granted a licence to play football ?
          Could it be the firm of solicitors who act for Sellik ?
          Could it be the man currently pulling the strings over the whole of Scottish football right now – you know, the guy employed by Sellik ?

          But, oh, I forgot – it’s all a masonic conspiracy.

          Here you are – “We therefore proceed on the basis that the breach of the rules relating to disclosure DID NOT GIVE RISE TO ANY SPORTING ADVANTAGE DIRECT OR INDIRECT. We do not therefore propose to consider those sanctions which are of a sporting nature. “

          • Littleway

            Against such astute reasoning there can be no reply Mr Wonka. Why, I almost think that you are “unrepliable”,( if I may employ such a neologism!).. The sharp relevancy of your questions and your deft employment of capital letters renders any would be respondent rhetorically paralysed. I do have a little question for you, however:

            Are you able to understand why their Lordships proceeded on that basis?

            I thought not.

            Sweet dreams.

  13. Justice has been done , you Muppets , ftt RESULT , lns RESULT , no players illegally registered , no sporting advantage gained FACTS , the problem is the haters put their trust in hate , hearsay , myth , bigotry and spite and would not listen to reason or facts , the lynch mob are in disarray but will turn their attention to another who will be guilty before the facts are known ,If they had any shame they would apologise to the mighty Rangers and promise to bring their children to watch the world record holders (54 titles ) and not subject them to watch septic at a half empty second rate stadium.

    • SairFecht

      Erk – Carson has just – a la Marvel comix – mutated into Leggo! And now the FTT is a result!? No – it’s only a half-time result – and could now go either way – LNS is a result? Your club (as was) has just been fined £250k for screwing with the rules – and again not complying with proceedures. If this is what passes for a result then Tuesday night morphs by comparison into a resounding victory over the Binos.

    • Raymilland

      cheat

      Verb
      Act dishonestly or unfairly in order to gain an advantage, esp. in a game or examination: “she cheats at cards”.
      Noun
      A person who behaves dishonestly in order to gain an advantage.
      Synonyms
      verb. deceive – swindle – trick – defraud – fool – bamboozle
      noun. fraud – swindler – ranger – deceiver – trickster

      • cam

        Whinger

        noun
        To complain repeatedly and annoyingly in order to change a result,esp. in a game or tribunal.

        “That old B movie actor Ray is such a whinger”

        Whinger;thesaurus; greetin faced;petted lip;cry baby;Celtic fan.

        • Raymilland

          copycat

          Noun

          (esp. in children’s use) A person who copies another’s behavior, dress, or ideas.

          Denoting an action, typically a crime, carried out in imitation of another (EBT schemes being an example).

          Synonyms
          imitator – mimic

        • Robert Smith

          They just can’t handle you Cam,Brilliant their hurt is shining through.

    • Geddy Lee.

      Carson, this case has been about the non disclosure of side letters.

      Your old club were found guilty of “Deliberate non disclosure”. the fact the authorities have issued a simple fine is hardly surprising. This is Scotland we are talking about here.

      It’s remarkable that you and the rest of the Bears Den Forum think you actually won. Sadly though , as this last year has shown, you simply don’t do “reality”

      Now back to the third division with you.

      • Maggie

        @Geddy Lee
        Exactly Ged, LNS was never,ever going to strip titles IMO
        because,as a law lord,he couldn’t possibly have risked the
        mayhem and public disorder that such a ruling would engender.
        Look what happened in Manchester when a telly broke down.
        Can you imagine what would happen if their ill gotten gains had
        been removed……Brad Pitt could have shown up in Glasgow
        again to film World War Z the sequel,only without the set
        designer and zombie extras as everything would have been
        good to go.

    • Macduff

      If you apologise first to all the creditors you left behind chasing a European Cup you will never have

  14. ExiledBairninFurrybootsCity

    How many pence in the pound will the liquidators pay to the football authorities by way of a fine?
    If Oldco / the liquidators don’t pay the fine will the football authorities raise a winding up order?

  15. SairFecht

    These look like some pretty serious breaches of regulations to me. The fact that the media hyped this as ‘the title-stripping inquiry’ – based on speculation – has dragged the impression of the awaited verdict somewhat out of proportion. No doubt there will be some wailing and gnashing regards the cost of finally attempting to get some transparency over events – one pertinent reply might be – a lot bloody more than had Rangers and it’s board played by the rules on this and several other counts – a lot bloody more than had Rangers not entered an egotistical and self-destructive arms race (the five pound / then pound brag) – a lot bloody more than had Rangers – and its subsequent adminstrators – complied with procedures of both our Inland Revenue and sporting authorities. Lose the persecution complex guys – your club has pretty much dragged Scottish football through the wringer by a combination of fielding unaffordable players (which did win them titles), leaving businesses out of pocket by tens of millions of pounds, and by having the apparent arrogance to think itself on anything but equal terms with its sporting competitors – i.e. by the flouting of rules and enquiry proceedures.

  16. Pingback: Rangers Oldco Not Guilty of Fielding Ineligible Players – Why? | Random Thoughts Re Scots Law by Paul McConville

  17. Geddy Lee.

    The results (GUILTY) of “Deliberate non disclosure” and the punishment are as expected. Stripping titles is irrelevant, and frankly, impossible as Green’s new club have no titles to strip.

    The fact that “rangers” fans see this as a victory is also hardly surprising considering the state of total delusion and denial they have been in since the old club went to the wall.

    Surely now sevco fans will stop ranting and raving about a “taig” invested and controlled SFA/ SPL. Easily their most pathetic claim to date.

    Hopefully, we can now put this to bed and get on with improving the Scottish football landscape.

    last night’s matches show there is still life in the old dog yet.

  18. cam

    Seriously tho,has anyone checked on wee Rod McKenzie?
    Harper McLeod still get paid? or was it a no win no fee job?
    The Coyote will be fuming,he gave the cleaners £3 for a new tin of Brasso and it’s in the audited accounts.
    I’m getting tucked into the wife’s new speciality,,,hubris and kidney pie,,,yummy!
    Washed down with a pint of schadenfreude,its a lovely day.

    • Cam, congratulations on a marvellous result! I know you are not in the least bit concerned by the fact Oldco were found guilty of all four counts. As will ur fellow bears whose knuckles swing lower than your own. It was the punishment you all feared the most! You have gotten away very lightly on that count IMHO. Enjoy your curried gloat on your BBQ, while we, The GOOD people of Scotland can sleep a little easier knowing that corruption has officially outed, and ALL 4 allegations upheld. GUILTY AS CHARGED! …Now we can all look forward to the next vote on whether you should be admitted to the SPL in several years time.(or whatever it be called then!)

      • cam

        I feel your guttedness, and the advanced case of sick as a parrotitis, has obviously brought on a fever.
        Enjoy your sleep, and if eating is difficult due to another skelping constricting your gullet,,,,try jelly and ice cream,,it works on weans.
        There won’t be an SPHELL ,,,they are all going bust.

        • I am too long in the tooth to be gutted over a game Cam. Especially when deep down, everybody knew Rangers would get community service, Noo there’s an oxymoron! Not because it was all that it warranted, but because of fear. Ahhh! Oor brave wee cowardly country. Over-run by all the wrong people, in all the wrong places. I was fervently patriotic before today. Now I look on my country as a shithole backwater, more akin to an open prison, than a society. I thank my lucky stars that I took my leave some 30 years ago, But feel sadness for the good people left behind. If ever a country was crying out for regime change, It is the place that was once my home. Because let’s face it. There were darker forces at play here, than mere “fitba”. Scotland?….your welcome to it.!

          • cam

            Aw damn it Barca, i was gonna pay your taxi to chez cams.
            Lucky you that you’re out of this dump.I’ll try to clean it up for your return.

            • Better get your finger out then. Touch down Friday night to take the weans to St Mirren game. Can’t hang about,because they need back for school on Monday. I’m glad you only got community service. You deserve a result for the stick you took. A right wee Greyfriars Boabie! Sitting at the graveside. BTW. Your team done nothing to merit a result though! Should have been slaughtered!

        • riddrie

          SPL all going bust?

          Only after Rangers, who are still going around begging for money…

  19. James McKinven

    Paul can you clarify a point now that it has been confirmed that these payments were “loans”(ebt’s) can BDO pursue the recipients of said loans on behalf of the creditors thanks in advance

  20. Budweiser

    Paul

    Is the £250k a ‘footballing debt’? Not that it would matter to such a cash rich new company.

    • Raymilland

      cheat

      Verb
      Act dishonestly or unfairly in order to gain an advantage, esp. in a game or examination: “she cheats at cards”.
      Noun
      A person who behaves dishonestly in order to gain an advantage.
      Synonyms
      verb. deceive – swindle – trick – defraud – fool – bamboozle
      noun. fraud – swindler – ranger – deceiver – trickster

    • iain

      Maybe they can take it out of the £2.5 million stolen at the end of last season?

      • Budweiser

        iain

        Would that be the season when you stole all the money from the taxman in order to REACH the end of the season? How much was it again?

        • iain

          I feel your pain Bud.

          Have a beer.

          • Budweiser

            iain

            Pain? What pain? We are three divisions higher than you. We are in the league cup final [ more much needed cash] we play celtic on sat. in Scottish cup [more much needed cash] we humped hearts last night[ and carey possibly scored the goal of the season] We are financially safe, this season[can you say the same?] We will be playing top tier next season – who will you be playing again?
            Any anger I feel is not towards rangers, but a system where my club is fined £25k [reduced to £12.5k – a massive amount for the club at the time ] for a true ‘admin error’ and your club, whilst being found guilty on all counts, gets ‘fined’ , well really gets’fined’ zilch.

        • willy wonka

          Budweiser – ” YOU stole all the money ” ?
          Would that not be WHYTE stole all the money ?
          Rangers employees all had their tax and insurance deducted.

          • Budweiser

            willi wonka

            Yes Whyte stole the money. Whyte represented rangers, indeed was rangers owner. Again who benefited from this by reaching the end of the season?

            • @Bud

              And recycled that money to continue paying the wages, until it ran out.

              Wonder if Craigie Bhoy took advice from Bernie Madoff?

            • willy wonka

              Tell me. Who “benefited” ? Who gained through the actions of a criminal ?
              I’ll draw the comparison with Torbett if you want to play it that way Bud.

            • Budweiser

              willi wonka

              What on earth are you on about? Torbet? I take it you mean the guy accused of child abuse or something? I only know about it from comments on this blog! What the hell has he got to do with me or my team?
              To continue,if we can, without the inane threats, Rangers , who were owned and operated by whyte and his team [as were rangers under sdm and his team ie directors] benefited by using enic and tax money to enable rangers to REACH the end of the season – even using this money they were broke by feb 2012.
              Btw. you called whyte a criminal – what crime[s] has he been charged with?

            • @Bud

              Shows the mentality of these scum that they try to drag that issue into just about every post Paul puts up.

              And they have the nerve to call others “bile-spewing bigots.”

              With such an obsession I fear for any weans they might have.

      • that 2.5 million should got to some o your creditors.
        ps sevco has no titles to strip.

        RIP

        keish

  21. Looks like the fest moved along and i was lagging, so will repost a reply to cam.
    @cam
    Somewhat more than an admin error …… Guilty of breaking rules regarding side letters and deemed contractual ………… but reasoning of decision on eligibility means no unfair advantage gained ……. this sets a dangerous precedent unless sorted.

    • ecojon

      @newtz
      I certainly think for the future the whole registration process must be clarified and it is seems clear from LNS that the SPL were ‘at sea’ on interpretation. It’s an area that the rule books will need to spell-out or we could end up in a bigger administrative shambles.

      A major concern since the Rangers debacle started has been just how useless the various rule books seem to be for the modern day and the various contradictions they contain especially in terms of important definitions.

    • cam

      Yes newtz,you must move fast as the attempts to shake off the camster in his Battle of Britain Spitfire, all decked out in red,white and blue, shall come to no avail.
      My “kills” score will get me an honour on this fine day.
      Bandits at 12 o clock,aces high.
      Never in the field of internet bampottery have so many taken such a pounding by so few.
      At this Magners free party, we the 300,will never let any technical waffle get in the way of celebration.
      Sausage roll?

      • have you actually read the ruling?.and if you have do you actually understand it!.
        keish.

        • willy wonka

          “We therefore proceed on the basis that the breach of the rules relating to disclosure DID NOT GIVE RISE TO ANY SPORTING ADVANTAGE DIRECT OR INDIRECT. We do not therefore propose to consider those sanctions which are of a sporting nature. “

    • Maggie

      @newtz
      Only the deluded, in denial bears could spin “Guilty on all Counts”
      as a victory.As I think you might recall me saying in the past 🙂
      Reading for information not their strong suit.

    • is a new club or not we need to know

  22. iain

    How many times did I post here that it was by no means certain that Rangers had received a “competitive advantage” by using EBT’s?

    You should have listened.

  23. ecojon

    Whether anyone agrees or disagrees with the LNS decision I personally find it difficult on the evidence submitted and the position advanced by the SPL before the Commission – particularly on sanctions and registration – that LNS could have arrived at a different conclusion.

    Obviously Paul will be providing analysis which might point to some flaw in my non-legal thinking and if so I will reconsider.

    However there will be no appeal on the findings from any quarters and it will be interesting to see if Paul deals with the various historical ‘technical’ infringements of rules by other clubs that have resulted in what I have always thought to be very harsh penalties. Perhaps if any of the aggrieved parties could have afforded recourse to law then we might have had this matter or, should I say the relevant rule books, clarified long before now.

    However LNS makes it quite clear where the damage inflicted on Rangers stems from: [109] It is the board of directors of Oldco as a company, as distinct from the football management or players of Rangers FC as a club, which appears to us to bear the responsibility for the breaches of the relevant rules.

    So just like the FTTT the blame can clearly be laid at Murray’s door and the business decisions he took even before Craig Whyte entered the scene.

    Interesting to watch the boot being sunk into D&P for yet another serious failure and I would like to think that this will be reported to their professional body.

    • @eco

      When someone asked if this decision might have repercussions re Spartans I initally thought “No, it would have no impact at all” (don’t worry, I talk to myself all the time!) but, from reading the decision & Paul’s analyses the point made that, in simple terms, the SFA were at fault for not asking RFC if they were using a tax-avoidance scheme in the first place, it could be argued IMO that they were at fault for allowing Spartans to field a player who they (SFA) knew to be ineligible.

  24. Macduff

    Associated memberships, not reading the illegibility rules correctly, trying to do deals with Charles Green. Surely somebody at the SFA should be accountable?

  25. Antipodean Red

    If there was no intention to seek an unfair advantage, why indulge in a tardy scheme to pay players and officials non-repayable loans that were not declared to the governing body. Why not just pay the players and officials up front and above board?

    • ecojon

      @Antipodean Red

      I think everyone believes except for 2 out of the 3 FTTT members that there was indeed an attempt to obtain an unfair advantage on the tax front because tax would have been paid if the money or should I say ‘loans’ had been paid up-front.

      It would appear that there was no evidence put to LNS of an unfair sporting advantage being gained. Sadly LNS can only decide on the evidence put before him.

      One would have thought that there were many accepted experts who could have been summoned as witnesses who would have made it clear the correlation between total dosh paid and sporting ability.

      The big problem even with that though is the absolute duds that some of the Rangers signings were and perhaps the SPL/SFA were frightened to go down that road 🙂

      • Ecojohn, I think it goes a bit deeper than that. The SFA didn’t want anybody to look at title stripping. This would have brought European games and prize money into the equation. The SFA would then be on the wrong end of a shitty stick from eufa. Rangers, have in effect, been found guilty of bank robbing, but allowed to keep the proceeds! Mental!

    • riddrie

      Antipodean Red

      They would have had to pay PAYE tax and insurance….

      Round and round we go….

  26. Felpan

    Paul as good as it is reading about today’s conclusions, there really is not much more to be said! I think I speak for all Celtic supporters when I say this is a case the mighty Celtic and every other SPL club won last year when we booted the cheating club out of the SPL. The club then died and Mr Green bought all the assets and started up a new club that play in the amateur league. So as I tuck into my jelly and ice cream this evening I am undecided as to what makes me smile more! The fact Rangers are dead or the fact they killed themselves! Or of course the jelly and ice cream!

    • cam

      Just think how yer jelly would have tasted with a few titles sprinkled on top.
      The deid guys coming tae get ye!!!
      Scooby,Scooby Doo
      Yoikes! 54 and counting!

      • Raymilland

        dignity

        Noun
        The state or quality of being worthy of honor or respect.
        A composed or serious manner or style.

        Calm, serious and controlled behavior that makes people respect you (see also; CAM) self-respect.

        Synonyms
        honour – honor – rank – title

        • cam

          Dignity; a boat bought by a cleany guy in a Deacon Blue song.
          Or Walter Smith.

          R.E.S.P.E.C.T;,,,Rangers Establishment Spank Pathetic Eager Celtic Twats

          • Raymilland

            clown

            Noun

            A comic entertainer, esp. one in a circus, wearing a traditional costume and exaggerated makeup.

            Verb
            Behave in a comical way; act playfully: “Cam clowned around pretending to be a dog”.
            Synonyms
            noun. buffoon – zany – jester – harlequin – fool – bluenose
            verb. buffoon

          • arb urns

            R– Rulebreakers
            A– As
            N– Nimmo
            G– Gives
            E– Every
            R–Ranger
            S– ????????…………………………………………………………………………….. SFA.

            oh a substantial fine.

        • Maggie

          @Raymilland
          “Dignity consists not in possessing honours,but in the
          consciousness that we deserve them” Aristotle

          Oh they know Ray,they know.Why do you think they’re so
          euphoric over a GUILTY verdict.

      • Felpan

        Dead. I feel you’re pain. If Celtic got kicked out of Scottish football for cheating I would feel pain as well. If my mighty Celtic went into liquidation and declared dead I too would feel pain. If I than had to watch a new club play in the amateur league I too would feel pain. In fact I would be so hurt I think all I could do would be go around Internet forums and blogs and vest my anger at the supporters that were laughing at my club! As of course they would be in a class and many leagues above me. So yes sir I really do feel you’re pain.

    • Maggie

      @Felpan
      Oh, most definitely that they killed themselves.
      That’s the “biggie” for me. We just stood by and laughed,and
      laughed and laughed on a daily basis,God my sides are still sore.

  27. Brian

    How can it be ruled that that oldco did not obtain advantage with the ebt’s. II can bet that the players who got the loans would not have played for rangers if all that cash had not been promised. Still say it’s cheating.

  28. ecojon

    @Brian

    It might be cheating but that doesn’t mean to say that it legally fell foul of the rule book or its interpretation based on the evidence actually given to LNS.

  29. JimBhoy

    @Cam you gonna turn down that Dambuster music…. 🙂

  30. Brian

    HMRC will not let the EBT problem go away. It will end up in the Supreme Court. All the players and staff who benefited will be looking at their mail to see if they get a tax demand, a horrible feeling when you see it in black and white. I hope the liquidators are thinking about calling in the loans as well so that the creditors an get some money back (especially the papershop round the corner)

    • Raymilland

      tax

      noun

      A sum of money demanded by a government for its support or for specific facilities or services, levied upon income, property, sales.

      A burdensome charge, obligation, duty, or demand.

      To lay a burden on; make serious demands on: to tax one’s patience (to the limit).

      To take to task; censure; reprove; accuse: to tax one with erroneous decisions (see LNS).

      Informal. to charge: What did he tax you for that? HEW HAW!

      Archaic. to estimate or determine the value of (£1)

    • willy wonka

      The “EBT problem” has absolutely NOTHING to do with Rangers.
      The liquidators CANNOT call in the loans.
      The papershop round the corner received their money in full.
      Anything else ?

    • riddrie

      That should stir the shit!

      And a lot of shit there is.

  31. frisnit

    Could any of the investigation be used by HMRC in their appeal? It seems likely that they were obscuring the EBTs for the sole purpose of hiding them from the taxman, rather than trying to deceive the SPL.

    In that sense, you can see why the commission came to their conclusion, as Rangers didn’t actually receive an advantage by HIDING the EBT’s. Of course, they did gain a serious advantage by USING them, but then HMRC failed to prove that was illegal, and that’s not what the commission was checking.
    It still stinks though, as everyone knows they were cheating the SPL and the taxman!

  32. Robert Smith

    Come on Paul place your bitterness to one side Rangers gained no sporting advantage using the discretionary loans,just accept you and your crazy gang have been wrong all along letting your hatred of Rangers and their fans cloud your judgement,time to accept the learned lords judgement and move along,you could even start going to parkhead and fill some of those long empty dusty green seats.BJK

  33. Elizabeth Corkhill

    Excellent, concise, makes the travesty all the clearer

  34. Reading the comments on here we really are through the looking glass. Everyone it seems predicted this outcome and very few predicted even wallowed in the ‘fact’ that the lying cheating bast***s would have a shed load of titles stripped from them and quite a few cups as well. And, that this decision would also “win’ us the BTC. I must have been reading a different site. Cam, Carson and yes, the now forgotten Alex were constantly having to try to counter comments which were naked in their venom ‘just wait, the 54 will be reduced’ or some such. People like me, and there are one or two of us, who were trying to look at the matter in a more balanced way, were shouted down and raged against. The green side of the Ugly Sisters comes badly out of this, the more so as they will not admit they got it wrong. I still have no stomach for RFC, but I do admire Cam and Carson and anyone else on here who continues to fight the corner of their team. Enjoy it boys, such days do not come often. I still await the humble pie from Ecojon, Maggie and their fellow travellers.

    It goes to prove that allowing venom, bile and hatred to enter the thought process really does drive objective reasoning out. Now, back to the really important story are you as shocked as I am that HMFC have parted company with their manager? Maybe some Hibs supporters might care to share their views.

    • cam

      Humble pie isn’t on their menu,never has been.
      Rhubarb crumble,Hatewell tart and very Hot Cross buns perhaps.
      They will spend weeks,months,years making their brainless allegations and they shall turn to their messiahs to assist them in their moment of need.
      From this day onwards we can watch them being evicted from the “moral high ground” and in 5 years time it will be open season on the at present,untroubled referees.

    • cam

      Hearts are in big trouble Violet, and i don’t know how they escape the clutches of Vlad with a stadium and team intact.

    • “Reading the comments on here we really are through the looking glass.”

      We certainly are; where else would “Guilty on all four counts” be considered any kind of “victory”?

      As for “venom, bile and hatred” have you actually read any of Arseon’s comments on previous posts? Or bam’s vilification of immigrants, asylum seekers, the unemployed and the sick & disabled?

      Enough venom there to keep you going for years.

  35. lordmac

    the amount of scottish fans the SFA had, it will be dramatically reduced even more, this will have no affect on the rangers, the way it has turned out never again will they be taken seriously as a institution of any great note, the people in charge would help if they would hand in there resignations with out delay, fans will not support this sort of thing I give football about 5 years to turn to dust, as this will only fester away if the spl member clubs think this is ok hell mend them all when there gates fall

  36. Pingback: An amoral victory | Phil Mac Giolla Bhain | Freelance Journalist, Author & Blogger

  37. BankieJohn

    The thing that stands out throughout this whole affair as being the most consistant and reliable is the anger of the rangers’ fans. Angry at the messengers who told them about Murray, D & P, etc. Angry at the SFA SPL, the other clubs, other fans. Angry at the idea of an enquiry, angry at the process. And now, even when they think they’ve won, more anger. The first thing they did when they won the BTC was be angry at everyone who thought them guilty or even dared question them. And now the judgement – that somehow manages to hinge on some dodgy interpretation of our rules by dodgy Bryson – has them blowing another fuse. Anger anger anger. WHY? That cup with big ears really gets their goat, doesn’t it?

    Perhaps if they could stand back from their emotional baggage a little, they’d see the truth that it will take a lot longer to win back any sense of pride or dignity than it would have to win back 5 titles.

  38. riddrie

    ‘….I think that section of the judgement makes it very clear indeed that this was no clerical error or administrative mistake. It was a deliberate, though without any evidence of it being dishonest, decision to hide these details, which ought to have been given to the football authorities. There was no evidence even that the Board had taken advice as to the position’.

    How can this opinion be arrived at?

    If there was no intent to deceive the football authorities, why did Rangers go to such lengths to hide those details from the SFA?

    Why did Martin Bain ask for his EBT application email to be shredded immediately after it was read?

    Did Lord Nimmo-Smith ask these questions?

    If he did, what answers did he get?

    If he didn’t, why not?

    The SFA claim they gave Rangers a license to play in season 2011/12 because they took the club’s word for it that they were solvent.

    Did Lord Nimmo-Smith’s investigation proceed using the same principal?

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