Guest Post by Martin – A Concise Summary of the Nimmo Smith Verdict

Martin posted this as a comment in one of the threads below. I thought it worth putting up on its own account.

By the way, this Martin is not the one I recommended this morning. However it is clearly a name which inspires clear thinking and eloquent prose!

Take it away Martin!


Rangers were indeed found ‘guilty’ on the questions asked.

LNS was not asked for an opinion on fairness or otherwise of having more money to spend on players. The accepted opinion is that having more money to spend on players is an advantage. This is professional football after all, money, spent wisely on good players wins. That’s true for every team, it’s true for Rangers and it’s true for Celtic.

Having more money is not cheating. You may have questions about the morality of where the money came from or even if sport should be reduced to something as base as financial muscle however LNS was not asked for an opinion on this.

LNS was asked for an opinion on rule breaches made by Rangers in registering players, he found that indeed there were rule breaches, ‘guilty as charged’.

An outcome of this was that despite deliberate failure to disclose the full earnings of the players in question, those players were still registered by the football authorities and therefor eligible to play, hence Rangers did not in this respect cheat.

Had the football authorities been aware of the absence of full disclosure of payments then registration of the players in question would have been revoked and they would have been ineligible to play. This did not happen.

LNS was impeccable in his logic. The result was highly critical of those controlling Rangers at the time but correct in its final judgement.

The question now for footballs’ authorities is firstly how did they manage to miss so much wrong doing in the registration of players and secondly what are they doing to prevent it happening again?

For Rangers fans celebration in not having titles stripped is at least expected if a little tasteless given the extent of wrong doing found by the commission.

Rangers were presented with an open goal, and they put that ball in the back of the net.

For me it matters little, I’m of the old fashioned ‘ it’s the taking part’ that counts school.

Some people in Scottish football have rather lost sight of this which is why so many of our smaller clubs are maligned or dismissed as being unimportant.

This is a pity, our smaller clubs contain within them, sporting integrity, honesty, community spirit and indeed charm.

They will never trouble the top leagues or threaten the European Champions they simply don’t have the money.

Those who do have the money or access to anyone else’s money will face all the temptations that go with it. Rules can be circumvented if they are not robust. The cracks will be found by those with wealth and the power that goes with it.

For lovers of sport this is nothing to be proud of, rather it’s a cause for dismay.

Posted  by Martin



Filed under Football Governance, Guest Posts, Rangers, SPL

116 responses to “Guest Post by Martin – A Concise Summary of the Nimmo Smith Verdict

  1. mick

    well put martin” sporting integrity, honesty, community spirit and indeed charm” this is intangible assets that money cant buy and without these well just look at dead co ,Sevco the club cloned out of more than 10years of cheating will fold due to a lack of these to, hail hail, and to all yous sevcoians meep meep ya cheats

  2. Den

    Good article Martin.

    I think LNS answered the questions that were posed very well, he had to negotiates few tricky issues and did it with skill, I am sure he is overjoyed with my vindication of his work.

    As someone who loved participation in sport despite having nil talent I agree that everyone should who participates should be respected.

    I loved taking part and even now will jump at the chance of a game, these days nobody wants a passenger though. Sometimes I pass on a tip and when I see the recipient applying it I get a great buzz.

    • Maggie

      As someone who despised participation in sport because of having nil talent AND because it ruins your manicure,blow dry and make up 🙂
      I am a great believer in children of all abilities and none participating
      in anything they wish to and to be given encouragement and tuition.
      We can’t all be Lionel Messi or Jessica Ennis,but if it’s fun and
      enjoyable for the participants, then ALL should be welcomed.

      I too respect and admire all the postmen,plumbers etc that turn out
      hail,rain and shine for training and games,in fact I respect them more
      than the overpaid under performers making millions tax free from
      EBTs ( allegedly) Tore Andre Flop anyone ?

      What message does this send to our kids? …Forget the taking part,
      it’s the winning that counts,and if you can’t win on a level playing
      field you then attempt to buy an advantage by dubious,tax evading,
      hidden side letter contracts ( again, allegedly)

      What the hell is the point of competitive sport if there’s no integrity?
      What is the point of turning out for training on a dreich,windswept,
      rain sodden Friday night in November because you’re hopeful that
      extra training will make the difference to your game or the outcome
      of the result when the dice is loaded against you?

      Those at Rangers do not get this at all,or if they do,they simply
      do not care.Their gloating and celebrating of their “victory” tells
      us this.

      • arb urns

        t a flo was not part of the ebt scheme he appears to have been part of the dos scheme, an illegal method of remuneration, which rangers admitted to, but surprise surprise never paid. to my disgust lns , the spl, the sfa have ignored the dos scheme which cheated the uk revenue out of millions of pounds outwith the ebt scheme. the whole thing stinks and needs cas to look at it.

        • Budweiser


          Please excuse my ignorance. I have a fairly good idea[ thanks to this blog] about ebts but have absolutely no idea about dos. Can you elucidate?

          • Maggie

            Hard luck today Bud.I wouldn’t have minded going out to the buddies
            I’m all about spreading the honours 🙂

          • arb urns

            bud its the ‘wee tax case’ dos, discounted options schemes, were for want of a better explanation mini ebts, some bankers aparently used them to ‘avoid tax’ on bonuses until they were ‘outlawed’ . rangers appear to have used them after this and admitted tax and enic was due on them. the millions that this saved rangers is sitting in the queue that awaits BDO’s sternest efforts but I aint holding my breath.

            IMHO the ‘sale’ to Charles Green needs to go through a rigorous Gratuitous Alienation Test, its the least the facepainters etc deserve.

            The Green consortium have borrowed significantly for initial working cap and clearly not from the mainstream sources. Grat Alien ( from memory) as a possibilty is mentioned in the IPO.

        • Maggie

          Are you sure arb? I’m sure he was on Mark Daly’s list,I’ll go
          back and check.I picked him mainly for the reason that he epitomised
          the over paid,under achiever.

      • Den


        Forget Rangers or indeed any organisation.

        Fun is fun, taking part in sport should be fun. I am and was hopeless but loved kicking a ball or running as fast as I could. Some people would pour scorn on my efforts but I know what I felt. You are never too old to enjoy it and if you can’t do it you can encourage those who can.

        You touch on some female issues such as manicure and hair. I cannot respond directly, although predictive text calls me Denise, but for any sake fun is fun. I also know some beautiful girls who can get right stuck in!

        Bottom line is just enjoy it. Not being patronising (I hope) but girls have as much to offer and enjoy sport as much as boys,

        Don’t talk to me about Oldco and Newco while I am in idealistic mode.

  3. How and why did it go unoticed for so long when the SFA had an ex Rangers employee Campbell Ogilvie with vast football administration experience and ebt experience working with the SFA from 2002 pt, FT from 2005 and now President.

    Anyone who looks at what makes a trust work, that its guiding principle is trust, then they would know, if they worked in football as CO did, that the trust concept was incompatible with a highly contractural business culture.

    Campbell Ogilvie as a recipient of a real trust SHOULD have known they were incompatible with football and asked questions how Rangers were operating them. He knew they were being used, he had one himself that depended on trust and they were reported in the accounts as Rangers suporters are quick to point out.

    Other Rangers men help positions in the SFA, they too would have known. Why did they not blow the whistle to safeguard our game, why were ebts not questionned as soon as they appeared in Rangers accounts?

    Regan’s call to move on will remain unanswered until the questions now raised have been answered.

    • Ian403

      I agree it stinks to high Heaven.

      When it all kicked off I was in the camp which wanted an honest solution.which repaid debt but allowed survival. Then I saw the SCALE of the cheating & realised repayment was impossible.

      I have watched & read with Horror as this saga has unfolded.

      The Cheating which has gone on to allow the Sevco situation & the “Solutions” arrived at which further corrupt Scottish Football.

      The question is were the rules broken? The answer is yes.

      The next question should be historically, how were OTHER Clubs dealt with for improper paperwork? THE Rangers should be treated Exactly the same.

      The Worst offence, in my opinion, is the refusal to supply the information to the SFA which was required & a Law Lord Allowing this…, It is the equivelant of refusing a Breathalyser & then a Blood Test & the Judge saying, well we can’t proove that the accused was drunk.

      Scottish Football is on the brink of a terminal decline unless the SFA sorts this out properly.

    • arb urns

      regans call to move applies only to himself, doncaster and co.

      see oh must gee oh

      there has been an angus og in football for years a twin phrase now needs to be introduced a cam og which basically in true horatio fashion means I see no ships.


    • portpower

      Regan should have been sacked years ago with his conflict of interest.
      He held shares with the oldco while at the SFA and he must have known it was wrong. He put his shares in his wifes` name. If he was too thick to realise his shares issue was wrong, who advised him to put them in his wifes` name? Triggers broom is still alive at the SFA.

  4. And I think it goes to the heart of the matter, indeed the very definition of a ‘sporting’ contest. What we’ve witnessed over the past decade – and more- has been a fraudulent contest, and a deception upon anybody that has paid money to watch a senior football match. Well said, Martin.

  5. dan

    I can find nothing in your post to disagree with. LNS was presented with ‘Sandy’s Law’ which states the you are innocent until caught, and when caught, punishment (for improper registration of players) cannot be applied retrospectively. Ergo, prior to being caught, no Oldco player could be deemed to be ‘ineligible’ to play and give his club an unfair sporting advantage. I absolutely accept that.

    However, a caller on Radio Clyde’s Super Scoreboard raised this very point and was roundly condemned by the panelists. Did he really suppose, they asked, that LNS would simply have accepted ‘Sandy’s Law’? Surely someone of his eminence would have seen it for the nonsense it was and ignored it in arriving at his conclusion? Well, er, no, I don’t think so. LNS was not invited to pass comment on ‘Sandy’s Law’, (would that he was). He was charged with coming to a conclusion based on ‘what is’ and not what ‘ought to be’ the case. Can you imagine the uproar if LNS had said that, according to the rules ‘Oldco’ did not gain any competitive advantage, but since he thought that ‘Sandy’s Law’ was legally absurd, he was going to ignore it and strip Oldco of titles anyway? There would have been marches on Hampden, demands for people to be named, death threats, bombs and bullets in the post, lists compiled of ‘people of interest’, or worse, ‘Rangers Haters.’! So perhaps we should be grateful that LNS adhered to what ‘is’ and not what ‘ought’ to be the current legal position.

    Any reasonable person looking at this must conclude that the footballing authorities in this country are not fit for purpose. For unless ‘Sandy’s Law’ is of very recent provenance, why did they feel able to even raise the question of title stripping during the famed ‘five way’ agreement? ‘Wouldn’t they have known way back then, that according to ‘Sandy’s Law’ Oldco had no case to answer? Very strange; nd perhaps the last word has yet to be heard on the matter

    • gerry31

      Brilliant post exactly the point I’ve tried to make myself but not so eloquently.

      LNS has an enquiring and analytical mind. I’m surprised he seemed to except Sandy’s law without question. I’m surprised evidence wasn’t led confirming the link between improper registration and obvious sporting advantage.

      It seems SPL was chosen as vehicle for inquiry as they had no rules on retrospective punishments.

  6. Here is a differing view from TSFM that basically said the failure to DELIVER the proper details made players ineligible regardless of being registered.

    itsalitany says:
    Saturday, March 2, 2013 at 01:05
    2 0 Rate This
    First time poster. Long time lurker here and previously on RTC.

    I’m driven to post for the first time (and probably only) time by my incredulity at LNS’s interpretation of the rules on the eligibility of the players with undeclared side letters to play in official matches.

    Rule D1.13: A Club must, as a condition of Registration and for a Player to be eligible to Play in Official Matches, DELIVER the executed originals of all Contracts of Service and amendments and/or extensions to Contracts of Service and all other agreements providing for payment, other than for reimbursement of expenses actually incurred, between that Club and Player, to the Secretary, within fourteen days of such Contract of Service or other agreement being entered into, amended and/or, as the case may be, extended.

    In my opinion, and I drafted contracts for a living for many years, this rule means, in layman’s terms that “all other agreements providing for payment etc” must be DELIVERED to the football authorities. If this is not done, the consequences are twofold: (1) a condition of the player registration requirements is broken; and (2) a player is not eligible to play in official matches.

    LNS concludes that the side letters were such “other agreements providing for payment”. He determines that the side letters had not been delivered. The two consequences of this failure to deliver the side letters, as provided in D1.13 and as Hirsute Pursuit and majorcoverup have already pointed out are clearly in my view (1) that the registrations were flawed AND (2) that the players were ineligible.

    On the registration point, LNS accepts seemingly without question the SFA’s Mr Bryson’s evidence that, as far as the SFA are concerned (1) a registration is valid until it shown not to be valid and even then, only becomes invalid from the point when the factor which invalidates it comes to light and is proved and (2) remains valid through any period during which it should not be valid but the invalidating factor is not yet known to the SFA. LNS quotes no precedents for this approach having been taken in the past and no SFA rule underpinning such an approach.

    LNS goes on to state that SPL rules in his view should be interpreted to agree with related SFA rules. Therefore, he interprets D1.13 to provide that while the non-disclosure of the side letters was a breach of the registration conditions, the fact the non-disclosure was not known to the SPL meant the registrations of the affected players remained valid and that, as they were validly registered, they were eligible to play. If the registrations were subsequently proven to be invalid, they would only became invalid from the point of time they were proven to be invalid (i.e. now) and cannot retrospectively be challenged or set aside.

    LNS then relies on rule D1. to determine that, following his conclusion above, no ineligible players were fielded by Rangers FC as a result of the non-disclosure of the side letters.

    Rule D1.1 states that: “Subject to these Rules, to be eligible to Play for a Club a Player must first be Registered…”

    Rule D.1 clearly, in my opinion, means that a player cannot be eligible to play if he is not registered.

    It cannot in my opinion, reasonably be taken to mean that if a player is registered, he is therefore eligible.

    Yet that is how LNS has interpreted it.

    A quick analogy. In order to be pregnant, one must be female. By the logic of LNS’s interpretation and application of D1.1, however, if one is female, it follows not only that one is pregnant, but also that one will be forever be deemed to have been pregnant during such period as passes from the point one became female until the point one proves that one is not pregnant.

    The most bizarre aspect of the LNS findings on eligibility of the affected players is that it goes to such lengths to determine that the players were validly registered when valid registration is just one of a number of requirements for eligibility and when, in terms of D1.13, another of the requirements for eligibility to play is clearly absent.

    As stated above, D1.13 provides that “for a Player to be eligible to Play in Official Matches…a club must…deliver all other agreements providing for payment”. This could not be clearer in my view. It matters not a jot whether the players were validly registered. In terms of D1.13, if the “other agreements for payment” were not delivered (which LNS confirms they were not), the players were not eligible to play, irrespective of the validity or otherwise of their registration.

    Yet LNS concludes that the side letters were “other agreements for payment”, concludes that they were not delivered, but concludes that the affected players WERE eligible to play.

    Try squaring that circle. I can’t.
    Fantastic first post and absolutely hits the mark.

    The distinction between Registration and eligibility is the point that must be understood by everyone.

    It is not the only mistake the commission made; but it is probably the most important.

    I wonder if any club who feels that this (mis-)ruling has denied them their rightful league positions and the consequential prizemoney, may wish to “seek clarification” from the SFA (as the governing body) or indeed the CAS.

    • gerry31

      Fantastic post. Immaculately argued.
      A circle that cannot be squared.

    • cam

      Sounds like a goer,i think you learned guys should take your findings to someone who may listen.
      Me,,,this will suffice.

      • parmahamster

        Clearly cam doesn’t do irony, quoting Lennon.

        He wouldn’t have seen cam and his ilk in his road, as my old granda used to say.

    • Ian403

      Brilliant Post

      Is it not now the SFA’s job to adjudicate the obvious SPL Appeal?

      • arb urns

        yes if there is an appeal

      • What appeal ? …… SFA could seperately consider the findings and adjudicate on whether the decision is compatible with it’s obligations (fair play for starters), and UEFA/FIFA statutes …… most unlikely though !

        I could be contentious …. and suggest that it is not beyond the bounds of possibility that they can accept the findings, but set aside the decision…… just saying like ………… not that any of this is likely though ……. is it ?

        Some great post’s on here tonight ………… with a super starter for 10 from Martin

        Does seem that there is a ground swell of unrest elsewhere ……. my new kettle has auto reboil ……… might come in handy !

        • @newtz

          Don’t know if you’re on Twitter, but on my timeline the groundswell of opinion is coming not from CFC supporters, but Hibees, Arabs & others.

          Not that anyone will notice.

    • arb urns


      got it in one… ….. imho opinion bryson gave a wrong answer when asked, the disciplinary records of scottish league football since inception ( late 1800’s) contain instances of clubs receiving ‘penalties’ for wrongly registered players and other clubs receiving ‘penalties’ for playing an ineligible player in a match, the ‘offences’ even appear to attract different penalties.

      The current rule, in my view ,reads still that registration and eligibilty are two distinct processes as the word AND is inserted between registration/ eligibilty. to me if they were meant to be the one process the wording needs to be registration and THEREFORE eligible to play.

      i find it really disappointing that the commission then got mckenzie to basically agree with, in my view ,brysons wrong interpretation of reg and elig ( and take the view that this will haunt him forever) by getting him to agree that the rule could be constructed or re- constructed differently than hitherto had thought to have been the case. the language then used at this point in my view is ” we agree with this construction and think he ( presumably mckenzie) is right in this construction !

      willie woodburn was suspended ‘sine die’ from the game, under the lns interpretation, in my view, if another club had tried to register said woodburn as a player and the bryson of the day had missed his ‘sine die’ suspension on the day of registration technically woodburn would have been registered AND THEREFORE eligible to play with no recourse to retro de-registration.

      lns does cover the commission by stating there could be ‘exceptional circumstances ‘ where a reg could be retro revoked but ‘ this isnt one of them’ imho i would submit that wilfull witholding of vital paperwork for over 100 players over a 10 YEAR PERIOD is ONE SUCH EXCEPTIONAL CIRCUMSTANCE.

      to me brysons answer when asked hypothetically about the side letters should have been we would have requested further information prior to making a fully informed decision regarding registration of said players AND eligibility of said players.

      what does lns do in the event the fttt opinion is overturned?

      • AntoniousF

        they seem to have a problem with registrations. just look at the Jorge Cadete affair which coincidently Mr Bryson was involved in.

        or is that just too cynical?

      • – Mr McKenzie takes the Bryson evidence during questioning of him, in the presence of LNS.
        – Mr McKenzie explains that the Bryson interpretation is new – the relevant rule has never been interpreted in such a way.
        – LNS asks – would you accept, Mr McKenzie, that it [the Bryson interpretation] is a possible interpretation?
        – Mr McKenzie concedes that the Bryson interpretation is a possible way of looking at it.

        for the Bryson interpretation to be defeated, McKenzie would have had to not concede this, and to argue that The Head of Registrations at the SFA (not some less significant member of staff – or some other such individual involved with the process at the SPL) had an interpretation 0f the rule that was flawed to the extent of not being feasible.
        I’ll type that again a bit shorter – McKenzie would have had to argue that The Head of Registrations at the SFA had an interpretation 0f the rule that was unfeasible – that he, Mr McKenzie, knew the rules better, and to the extent that he could show that the Bryson interpretation was impossible. I think its obvious that this could never have happened.

        It would not have been enough to possibly show that the ‘common’ or ‘straightforward’ or ‘non-Bryson’ interpretation is more sensible or somehow more apt, remembering that the onus of proof is on the SPL to prove any charges true. McKenzie could put the best possible arguments forward – but in the final reckoning by LNS the evidence of the SFA Head of Registrations with a feasible interpretation of the rules precludes Rangers FC being found guilty of those relevant charges.

        Once the Bryson evidence was given, it is clear that Rangers FC were off the hook on the relevant aspects of the charges. There was no alternative to this – on the say-so of Bryson.

    • cam

      Would it be possible to send this analysis to the three learned gentlemen,just so they know where they went wrong.
      If they aren’t told then they could make more mistakes.
      If i was a Celtic fan i would send this off to Mr Lawwell and get Rod McKenzie to read it to him.

    • Maggie

      @Auld heid /itsalitany
      Many thanks for that.Brilliant!

    • You have an interpretation – Mr Bryson has another.

      To ‘prove’ Rangers FC fielded ineligible players, the Bryson interpretation would have to have been defeated. Its not enough to have a better interpretation of the rules than Bryson (bytheway I agree that you do) but the Bryson interpretation has to be impossible or unfeasible.

      That was never happening.

      • arb urns

        If Mr Bryson or anyone else for that matter looks up the scottish league disciplinary records both will find :- Third Lanark Sept 1890- fielding an ineligible player – deducted 4 pts. Port Athletic Sept 1893 – fielding a wrongly registered player- deducted 7 points.

    • Erudite and enlightening, certainly more so than the extremely simplistic way I read the result, viz:

      The fact that the SFA accepted the players’ registration documents as supplied “in good faith” ipso facto conferred eligibility to any & all players thusly registered.

      RFC1872 undertook a policy of deliberate non-disclosure of “side letters” detailing contractual payments via the EBT scheme, for which they were censured & fined £250 000.

      HOWEVER the fact that RFC1872 concealed these letters does not invalidate the players’ registrations; it was for the SFA to question whether or not RFC1872 happened to be operating any “tax avoidance scheme.”

      Or have I got it all wrong?

  7. Martin, a well written good attempt to take the sting out of the situation.
    However, depriving the revenue (wider society) of millions of pounds, & playing fast & loose with admin procedures, and exploiting legal ambiguity amounts to cheating in my book. Yes where exactly does integrity fit into that scenario?

  8. Budweiser

    It would seem that fans of all persuasions,although perhaps for different reasons, would like a clearout of our football masters. Will it happen? Don’t hold your breath.

  9. Robert Smith

    The Stranraer bus is awaiting if you don’t like this once great country before you wasted it you know where to go

    • Robert, Quite the charming Nazi, are you not?
      This once great country was built on the back of African slaves in the sugar & tobacco plantations in the new world. It shipped back the proceeds of it’s ill gotten gains from the seedy little empire it built when it was a rather cool thing to do. It’s infrastructure was originally put together by Irish & highland navvies working for buttons at the hands of their Scottish & English masters.
      It astonishes me a mentality such as yours still exists in unreconstructed darkness.
      Yes your once great country no longer exists, “The super power is no longer super”. A bit like Coisty. He isn’t “Super” any more either,
      For that matter yer team certainly isny super Rangers any more.
      It’s all gone, Shame eh! .

      • Maggie

        @Mac Tomas
        That’s the Lingua Franca that he and Carson use.
        Carson was also also enquiring of Mr Mc Murdo on his charming blog,
        whether the borders were still open.
        It’s another version of the famine song Mac,but you knew that already.

        • @Maggie That Lingua Franca has apparently been left speechless. To give them both credit I think they both know you can’t defend the indefensable.
          They might not “do walking away”, but are pretty damned good at putting their foot in their gobs. .

      • parmahamster

        You get nowhere being pleasant to shite, mac.

    • Denise

      What do you mean Robert?

    • mick

      and this is what alex calls the fabric of our nation and the sfa throw integrity out the window for ,

    • mick

      fly the fleg

    • Ian403

      Robert, Why don’t YOU go?

      There is also a ferry service which will take you to folk of your ilk.
      You would obviously be more at home at a Flag protest.

      Scotland is multi Cultural.

      I teach students of various ethnic origins & they have a work ethic & honesty.

      You seem willing to accept all the cheating ,which has been excuse, as some kind of victory.

      That speaks volumes.

    • SairFecht

      Robert Smith – some family reasearch shows my ancestral roots – for what it matters- going back for many generations in Scotland – back through the industrial ages to making a living from the soil. I suppose this – for what it’s worth – ties me to some form of nationality that can fairly be described as ‘Scottish’. So where am I to go? By ‘this once great country’ I assume you are talking about the country that sent – with the collusion of ministers and lairds – shiploads of evicted Highlanders to exile or destitution – or as canon fodder to industrial scale wars – or to the industrial centres of the south, where the slum housing was described as ‘The Cancer of Empire’, and where they would – in common with the majority of the populace – fight for the daily rights of food,employment and representation. But here they would also encounter another cancer – idiots like you who could only atriculate the plight of working people by blaming neighbours with perceived differences from that of your own vacuous interpretations and misguided notions of ‘Loyalism’. So why not get on the Stranraer bus yourself – with a one way ticket at that- but don’t stop to infect the good people of the port with your nonsense – get straight on that ferry and step off in the city where you’ll doubtless find some like-minded people with whom to pass on the benefits of your greatly-won wisdom. In fact. Smith? Sounds suspiciously English tae me! Over the border with you – and don’t come back. Immigrant!!!

  10. Agree entirely Martin but could it not have been argued that RFC, through their non-disclosure had failed to complete the registration process.

  11. So i wonder will the findings be raised today at the Balmoral Hotel, Edinburgh, at the IFAB AGM, or the SFA’s asked for clarification on it’s adherence to it’s Statutes.
    Oh ………
    under the chairmanship of the Scottish FA President Campbell Ogilvie

    hey ho …………

  12. jinky44

    Is side letter the new posh for brown envelope?

  13. carl31

    “LNS was impeccable in his logic”.
    I disagree.

    There are a few flaws or question marks.

  14. mick

    if the media had seen them as guilty and reported so and the suits involved said sorry and resgined we could have drawn a line in the sand but with the way it was done and reported is just sick and if not sorted out soon we will witness a mass exodus from the game hay but dont worry at least the newco bullys will be happy and not sending threats

  15. mick

    evidence they knew the full amount and commited fruad both oldco and sfa

    Also, no one seems to have satisfactorily answered why Rangers were able to claim Colin Hendry’s full wages from the SFA when he was injured on Scotland duty…. Sorry, I’ve forgotten myself for a second, I do of course mean his full wages and, for some reason, ‘lifestyle’ loans. Why would the SFA aquiesce to that money if it didn’t match what was submitted on the player’s registration to them?

    comment of the weekend for me was the above and blows the LNS desission out of the water

    • Maggie

      Is this true mick? If so,then it should be pursued to the fullest

      • mick

        There is lots of fraud throw out this it’s true and it’s easier to up set the rest rather than sevco as they do packages and lists its shocking that these issues were not raised the bottom line of all this is it pays to be aggressive and bully there will never be a line in the sand now the cheating has went unpunished

  16. What happened to the ‘Prima facia’ case the SFA said that the now dead Rangers needed to answer? Can it simply be explained away with a futile report with nothing but a bucket load of flimsy technical excuses backed up with a mad rush to ”move-on”!

    The stench of corruption down Hampden and Govan way is highly toxic and choking. Campbell Ogilvie (that sneaky wee corrupt creature that lurks anywhere there is money and power to be gained) has not one shred of humility. He has a name that will forever be defined and remembered as –
    ” a paradigm of shameful corruption glowing with incandescent arrogance”.

    Sorry Mr Nimmo Smith you have been USED to allow corruption to win – end off!

    • cam

      Mr Ogilvie is corrupt?,,,present your evidence.

      • mick


        March 2, 2013 at 9:36 pm

        evidence they knew the full amount and commited fruad both oldco and sfa

        Also, no one seems to have satisfactorily answered why Rangers were able to claim Colin Hendry’s full wages from the SFA when he was injured on Scotland duty…. Sorry, I’ve forgotten myself for a second, I do of course mean his full wages and, for some reason, ‘lifestyle’ loans. Why would the SFA aquiesce to that money if it didn’t match what was submitted on the player’s registration to them?

      • lordmac

        ask him to pay back what he got for nothing

      • @cam Seriously? Your offering that as a serious question?
        That’s the last piece in the big Delusion Jigsaw.

        Tell ye what. If Ogilvie pays back, I can barely sat it LOAN. Then he can mebbie take a stab at starting to defend his good self against that accusation. “Mebbie” .

  17. Scotus

    Am I permitted to flag up another WordPress site with some interesting points concerning Rangers? The gravamen of its argument is the religio/political society in which Rangers is merely the icon, and that unless this is openly addressed nothing will improve; perhaps things will even degenerate.

  18. bhoy67

    My auld ears have took a bashing after a lifetime working in heavy engineering,so could someone verify that I heard correctly on BBC sport news an interview where the SFA CEO.absolved his President Mr Ogilvie from any wrongdoing when he was with Rangers as it was effectively a one man band and it was all SDM`s fault!
    It appears that we should all move on now and if we were as positive in our attitude as we`ve been negative in the last year then Scottish Football can look forward to being world class.

  19. arb urns

    ot anyone seen coistys sun column today he thinks rfc were liquidated for a mere 9m AND wait for it RELEGATED to div 3… relegated ffs !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Maggie

      @arb urns
      This is their PR strategy arb,if you say it,it’s true.Also see
      Campbell Ogilvie for more evidence of this strategy in practise.
      You know what Sally needs? ( well apart from another brain cell to
      stop the one he has from getting lonely and a decade’s subscription
      to weight watchers ) a dictionary,so he can look up the definitions
      of “consequence” and “punishment” and try to assimilate the difference
      between their respective meanings.Clown !

    • portpower

      Poor wee swally.It`s bad enough suffering with selective hearing. Now the poor wee cheeky chappy is suffering with selective bullshit.

  20. wottpi

    The other day I noted that Paul McConville said that LNS decided the rule of law (which seemed to be the alternative construction based on Bryson’s evidence) trumped the spirit of the law, SPL D1.13.

    LNS seemed to base this on the fact that the SPL had no process for revoking a registration.

    Can anyone anywhere please tell me what the SFA rule is for revocation of registration. Being that a hypothetical revocation of a star players registration mid season is likely to have major implications for a club, opposition clubs (domestic and European)and national teams.

    You would have expected a few paragraphs at least on how to deal with such a situation. But I can’t find any.

    I am also guessing that there may actually never be a case of the SFA revoking a registration.

    So is there actually a rule and precedent on which to base the alternative construction of the Bryson evidence?

    LNS didn’t pont to anything existing within the football rule books that backed up the ‘alternative construction’. As far as I can see his findings didn’t point to anything outwith football either.

    Maybe Paul or some other legal eagle can explain how the alternative construction gets top billing over SPL D1.13 when there seems to be nothing in the way of evidence or in the reporting of LNS’s fidings to back it up other than Bryson’s opinion.

    Any explaination gratefully received.

  21. Alexander Doherty

    Re robert
    Only to happy if your wasters left my country
    I so sorry we sent st columba to teach you love lost on huns

  22. ccl

    It would seem that the rules are there only to keep the law abiding members in check. They fail miserably where a member doesn’t want to play fair. Rangers’ fans should be hanging their heads in shame rather than crowing about how they’ve avoided proper disciplinary action.

    • parmahamster

      They don’t know and frankly will never know the meaning of the word, “shame”. They’ve had Barcelona twice, Birmingham, Tranmere, Manchester, Pamplona… even the official party at a closed doors game in Milan to apologise for and not one word of contrition yet. So don’t hold your breath waiting for even one of them to admit that they were in the wrong and should be ashamed of their actions.

  23. lordmac

    has the SFA not stated that it is the sole responsibility of the clubs to fill in the registrations and within the rules of the game, the fact now reads they have been discoverd, that they were not filled in properly then that can only mean there is no time bar, by there own rules, the players that played 10 years ago and less, where unregisterd,and now only just discoverd there words as the rules they signed up to are broke now discoverd would you let any sports personality off if you found out as in golf his score card was not filled in right his registration was not filled his age or class, or uesed drugs 10 years ago that he signed an agreement.for i would fine the club and the players agents also as they would have known the score, get some money back from them

  24. Felpan

    If the SFA wanted to they could have stripped Rangers of said titles through their own inquiries. That’s why they are the governing body. That’s why they make the rules. But they didn’t want to touch it. Maybe someone on the board didn’t want that to happen! Maybe not! Nobody wanted to be the guys that stripped Rangers of titles. Maybe they were afraid some loony would start demanding to know their names! Maybe not! What ever the reasons, it looks from the outside that this whole mess has been handled by amateurs. Scottish independence! Scotland will be a third world Country in about three years if this is what they call official handling of blatant fraud. Happy back slapping.

    • Budweiser

      Sorry, must disagree with you. The reason the SFA initiated independent commissions was because, they , in the past, had been accused of all sorts of bias and skullduggery. No matter what you think of lns decision, it is infinitely preferable to past inquiries/decisions. Most of the ‘diddy’ teams accepted the results in the past. It was only when it was rangers or celtic under scrutiny that accusations of bias/secret handshakes/conspricacy etc were levelled. Not to say that any of the accusations were untrue, Ireally don’t know.

      • Felpan

        I don’t think we are in disagreement. You are giving what you think is the reason why the SFA gave this whole fiasco a wide birth. I believe if there was any set of balls to be found in house of the SFA they would have stripped the titles, tell all of Scottish football those years will be scratched from SPL history, and if Rangers were not happy let Charles Green or sir David Murray take them to court and prove them wrong. If not then the matter is now closed. That would send out a message to every Club in Scotland who is the boss. As it is in all honesty what Club is going to take any notice of anything the governing body of Scottish football says. I would think every Club is Scotland not to bother paying any fines handed down to them by the SFA. It’s not as if they have any authority in Scottish football or anything!

        • Budweiser

          I don’t disagree with your sentiments. Just look at what happened when the SFA declared there would be an independent commission. From chas green and mc coist down it was denounced as a ‘kangaroo court’ – rage on the gers fans sites and more than implied threats. The consequences of your scenario where the SFA had balls doesn’t bear thinking about. Remember we had bombs and bullets and an actual assault on a manager, live on tv, because they didnt like him.

  25. lordmac

    you better belive it mate, can you imagine if they where told to take down the flag at ibrox

  26. Peter

    I´ve been reading Paul´s blog for a while, great blog Paul.
    I´ve also been lurking on the TSFM but looks like you need to be a twitterer or facebooker to register, which I´m not.

    There seems to be a lot of consenting voices across the fan spectrum for a boycott of some sort and some logical dissenters on that score too (why harm your own club? etc.)

    I was just wondering when the next home game is for the national team? A boycott of that would surely bring the strength of feeling and unity of purpose of like minded Scottish football fans to the attention of the “authorities”. Maybe someone could suggest it over on the TSFM (if it sounds like a good idea, natch.)

    • Budweiser


      I am not a boycott denier. However Scotland is my home and Scotand is my team.I will support them no matter what inept fuds are in control at hampden.

      • Bud I’m inclined to agree with you. Forza Scotland. in spite of the fudism & the toxic presence of Sevco.
        Maybe the only course of action is to empoly someone to paint a giant Mickey Mouse on the facade at Ibrox, next to a giant Coisty face & play spot the difference.
        Lets take this shambles into the realms of the surreal!

        • Budweiser

          Mac Tomas

          Gawd! Don’t get me into surreal! Can you just imagine a mural by Sally Dali painted on ibrox, depicting the goings on over the last year ? I won’t be able to sleep tonight – thanks.

    • arb urns

      peter the sevconians would have turned full circle from the pre season boycott of all things sfa to filling the place.

  27. Peter

    Budweiser- As far as boycotts go, I would probably boycott the national team before my own club.
    Nevertheless, arb urns has rather succinctly explained why it probably wouldn´t work. They would more than likely show up just for badness 🙂

    • Budweiser

      Leave the boycotts to the rangers fans. Support your team and your national team. Don’ get dragged down.

  28. “The question now for footballs’ authorities is firstly how did they manage to miss so much wrong doing in the registration of players and secondly what are they doing to prevent it happening again?”.

    Parliamentary ‘inquiries’ set up by government are often used to reduce the heat and outrage of the public into wrongdoing of one kind or another.

    One of stated aims of such inquiries is ‘we must make sure this never happens again’.

    But it does happen again.


    You can therefore understand my scepticism now this claim is being made in the case against against Rangers transgressions.

    If weak, inappropriate punishments are handed out, it is inevitable that these offences will be committed again.

    Its just a matter of time.

    The only thing most people understand and respond to is severe action in such cases of hard-nosed misbehaviour.

    • parmahamster


      The good that may yet come of this will be when – not if – the rules on registrations are changed, someone in authority in Scottish football will say it outright, “This is to ensure that what Rangers did will never happen again.” With the emphasis on the “what Rangers did” part.

  29. portpower

    Well put Martin. Every time I put a strip on when i was young I was Eusébio da Silva Ferreira. The greatest player I`ve ever seen. In my mind anyway. Most leagues have a strong side that win everything but over time they`re victories become complacent. When we defeated that strong side to win the league that one result meant more to us than all their victories. The Boss at work also knew what it meant and he knew a few of us would be off for the week. To this day when I meet up with everyone we still talk about it. What we have never figured out is why we end up in Coober Pedy 600KM from the club. OH HAPPY DAYS. Carn the under dogs. (we all new the stronger side was cheating. Bosses in high places giving players the day off with pay while we were stuck at work) It did`nt really bother us at the time but it was still cheating. The stonger club will forever be tarnished as CHEATS.
    I still argue that I was better than Eusébio that glorious day in the sun.

  30. Fra

    Iain403, your description of the breath test sums up this distasteful episode in Scottish football as I see it. Martins post is eloquently put for the layman (such as myself) and I thank you and Paul for trying to make sense of it all. For what it’s worth, I don’t see anybody being apportioned appropriate penalties for all this mess which has been heaped onto the average supporter. The SFA have stumbled around like a drunk man in the darkness trying to find a solution, succeeding in only to offend almost everyone outwith their own office.
    1)Campbell Ogilvie should have immediately been put on gardening leave.
    2)If the Team known as rangers died, then so be it. I don’t remember all the hoo ha when it happened to Clydebank or Airdrie.
    3)The SFA should have gave an insight into the rules on rangers’s new name, cups and honours instead of just sitting back and allowing lies and distor ions to be assumed truthful.
    4)Any untruths or inflammatory statements spouted by anyone in positions of authority be that Green, McCoist, Lennon, Thompson et al should have been dealt with immediately and not left to fester leaving the feeling that the said individual is above the the rules and governance.
    5)If rangers2012 are a new company then why did they have to pay oldcos football debts but not have to pay the small shopkeeper or the face painting lady.
    6)Why was Whyte allowed to buy rangers when a quick search told every granny and their dog that he had been banned from running companies.
    7)Why were the new club allowed into Division 3 ahead of others when they didn’t have three years worth of accounts which I believe were the rules of entry
    8)Will Spartans be compensated for this diabolical act of queue jumping.
    9)When will somebody fall on their sword for this debacle or should we revert back to the days of Farry when your office thought they were bigger than Scottish football itself.

    If I have missed something ,feel free to add to this for I, and I assume many others, am bloody angry at how this whole episode was handled and how the guilty have walked free.

    • Evo

      The team known as Rangers did not die though, just as in Pacific Shelf did not kill off Celtic. You really need to open your eyes and see the clear difference between ‘company’ and ‘club’. Unless, of course, you are deliberately not seeing there is a difference because it suits you not to. The guilty (the operating company who ran RFC at that time) have not walked free – they were punished with a £250,000 fine for the administrative error of not stating separately that they were operating a legal and legitimate wage structure – remember that all this information was clearly laid out in our accounts to the SPL every season and was never a problem.

      • The FAT UTT lady has still to sing on the legality of the scheme.

      • Fra

        The first part of your answer is wrong. Rangers were liquidated therefore they were put out of business. In any other entity this would be the case but in your twisted logic of the facts, somehow it doesn’t apply on this one occasion. To try to somehow give credence to this twisted logic, you try to make out the exact same thing happened to Celtic. Celtic were not liquidated therefore continued to trade. As much as I dislike rangers, I cannot understand why they had to pay football debts but not civil debts. All rangers troubles were caused by one man and that man is Murray, not Whyte. If the question of whether rangers died was put to James Traynor, would he now say they didn’t die as he is now employed by Green or would he continue to reiterate what he wrote as the records chief writer.

  31. Scottish football is rotten to the core and my family and I will not return.

  32. Thomas

    Well put.
    I have no beef with LNS.
    I do want the spotlight on Sandy ‘Sevco’ Bryson, SFA. He alone let Rangers off.

    • arb urns

      correct…………. however lns is not blameless here either in many eyes, as his commission concedes there may be exceptional circumstances where registrations can be revoked but ‘this isnt one of them’. IF WILLFULLY WITHOLDING THE SIDE LETTERS FOR OVER 100 PLAYERS OVER A TEN YEAR PERIOD ISNT EXCEPTIONAL CIRCS!!!!!!…………………

  33. Bill Fraser

    Extremely well explained. If one looks at the logic of the case then LNS got it right. He was not asked about non-payment of tax so the idea that Rangers were able to gain an advantage on the field because the players were not technically registered is a false one. In other cases where teams have been kicked out of cups or had league results changed, it has always been immediately after the game in question, not several years afterwards. Hopefully Scottish football can put this sad matter behind it and look towards a better future.

    • arb urns

      bill ” in other cases where teams have been kicked out of cups or had league results changed ”

      they have not committed over 100 offences over a ten year period nor have they similarly withheld, deliberate and calculated ,mandatory submission documents.

  34. cam

    So it is unanimous,LNS was/is wrong.Mr McKenzie an “expert” in this field made a major mistake.
    Mr Bryson’s evidence was the rock the good ship Vengeance,foundered upon.
    The LNS commission panel,which included the best minds available to rule on the case,had the evidence,which was meticulously gathered by Celtic’s lawyers,Harper MacLeod,the go to legal firm, in this type of case,presented to them by Mr McKenzie,a man who could be relied on to leave no stone unturned.
    Hundreds of thousands of pounds was spent in ensuring that a totally neutral ,unbiased ruling would be delivered.
    Most informed commentators had already decided how the case would go,quite a few were mostly correct, but no one foresaw Brysons evidence.
    A good few clever bloggers on Celtic sites,unhappy with the failure to finally decide that RFC cheated their way to SPL titles,have with hindsight,raked through the LNS verdict and found it, in their “expert” opinion, to be flawed.
    A demand for an appeal to higher authorities gathers support.
    A website springs up to demand justice for all SPL fans who feel cheated.
    Probably the same SPL fans who promised to fill their clubs stadias, to make up the shortfall created by their rightful demand for sporting integrity.
    It is all reminiscent of the FTTT verdict,now under appeal.
    A long tortuous build up,all the best legal minds gathered to deliver the desired result,,,but wait no,,,no way,”thats not the verdict we, the bloggers demand. You damned fools, can’t you see Rangers are cheats.”

    Mr Ogilvie it appears, is corrupt,,,the evidence?,,,at last count,10 TD’s!

    I really do hope that Charles Green does find a way to get Rangers out of this hate filled backwater, and that it is a route that ensures that Rangers never again, have to play Celtic ,and have anything to do with that clubs fans and it’s manager.
    The baw, truly is burst.
    I’m off for a wee dander up Arthurs seat,,,i’ll probably bump into some obsessed bampot on his Blackberry clattering more pish.
    Have fun

    • driverjohn

      Cam, this enquiry had to happen. Had it not, the stench of cheating would have hung over Rangers (in liquidation) for years. Also, you should thank your lucky starts for scottish football disciplinary processes. John Terry was recently found guilty by an FA panel consisting of blazers, ex players and administrators from english local football associations. There were no retired judges, no QC’s and no lawyers. The outcome destroyed the reputation and international career of Mr Terry. Rangers should be thankful that they had access to a process that leaves other countries in their wake, especially England. Be careful what you wish for in your new home.

      • interesting point, but IMO flawed. Will eventually get around to explaining when my head recovers from the harlem shake party me and cam had last night ….. we never did make it to Mass !

      • cam

        Wasn’t arguing that the enquiry shouldn’t happen,Quite glad it did.
        Quite sad that a bunch of barrack room lawyers can’t accept it.
        RFC found guilty of 4 counts.
        Titles are safe.
        Game over.

  35. Evo

    I really do wish you lot would accept a decision for what it is and move on instead of, like Neil Lennon, greetin’ about how wrong it was. There was no advantage on the field of play because we would have paid the wages whether the SPL knew about it or not. We were guilty of an administrative error, that’s all, read the decision, accept it, and grow up. The 5 titles were won fairly by players we could afford to pay by a legitimate and legal process – no amount of bleating now will make a blind bit of difference. But, like the clear difference between a ‘company’ and a ‘club’, when it comes to anything Rangers your obsession switches in and common sense goes right out the window. At a time when there is so much wrong in your own team and in your own little world you still infatuate over us? It really is not healthy to be like this, speak to any psychiatrist and they will tell you that what you have is a recognised mental illness. Please, for your own sakes, get some treatment, get some help and get a life.

    • Wasp


      Careful ! They were not wages but loans at the sole discretion of the Trustees of the EBT scheme. You are giving the impression that the players had a contractual right to them come what may !!!

    • Budweiser


      You must be new here as I don’t remember your moniker. So hello. I am not a celtic fan. Your comment:- ” there was no advantage on the field of play because we would have paid the wages whether the SPL knew about it or not.” Does it surprise you that I agree with your statement? However,[always a however] where to begin with retorts?
      1. Why didn’t rangers pay the wages[all up front] and tell the SPL?
      2.Rangers could not have [ simple economics] afforded the same number of players if they did 1above.
      3. Because they did not do [1above] they could afford to employ more players at a much higher rate of pay.
      4. These same players [of an undisputably higher calibre] consistently gubbed my team [St. Mirren] and others.
      5. By not paying tax [ loans instead of wages] rangers gained a financial advantage over other teams.
      6. So financial advantage = sporting advantage.[I know,I know, under appeal]

      Lns was not adjudicating on ebts – it was on registration – rangers were foung guilty on all counts. Thanks for your kind thoughts on my mental health. I am now consulting cam’s psychiatrist and also his lawyers – so watch what you say!

  36. arb urns

    enjoy the walk and the view cam. i and many others on here can now rest content- line 23 last three words- mind how ye go up there its a long way down.

  37. Paul,

    thank you so much for giving something I wrote ‘Guest Post’ status, and for your kind words on introducing it.

    Should we ever meet the coffee is definitely on me 🙂

    • And thank you Martin for a superb concise blog post. Some interesting reply posts as a result.

      Can i ask yourself and others a question ……. can the LNS commission be considered a ‘third party’ …… the way i see it, it is ……… though i could do with some counter arguments ……. it may be quite important ! …. explain later when have bedded this point.

    • Maggie

      You’re a gentleman as well as a wise man. 🙂
      Your post was great too,as always.You and Pensionerbhoy
      are unfailingly mannerly and conciliatory in your approach.

      Btw ever thought of giving lessons in manners and gallantry to
      some of our separated brethren on here ? You could make a fortune

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