The darkest dirtiest secret in Scottish Football has now been revealed and it will shake the Beautiful Game to its core as well as the Scottish legal system.
Boiled down and stripped of legalese the shameful guarantee states: ‘The SPL hereby undertakes solely and exclusively to Sevco and to no other Person . . . that the SPL shall not . . . take or commence disciplinary proceedings against Sevco . . . in respect of any EBT Payments and Arrangements’.
What is even more incredible is that this deal was struck and distributed with the 5-Way Agreement before Lord Nimmo Smith began his enquiry and before the FTTT announced its verdict on the Rangers tax allegations.
We need clear unequivocal statements by Lord Nimmo Smith and Neil Doncaster and someone, anyone at the SFA who isn’t ‘conflicted’ to reveal the long hidden truth behind the most serious revelation ever to shine daylight on the many dark secrets held in the Hampden bunker.
Many of us have incessantly debated the controversial findings of Lord Nimmo Smith’s Inquiry into Rangers’ EBTs since its release in February this year. There was widespread disbelief at the conclusions and many believed it was just another example of how the scales were weighted in favour of Rangers.
Anyone who has followed my posts will know that I have always supported the integrity of LNS and his two learned colleagues in the sense that the woeful preparation and presentation of the SPL case gave the Tribunal little or no room for manoeuvre in reaching its conclusions. And of course there was the ludicrous intervention of the SFA’s top man in Player Registration which made the name ‘Bryson’ synonymous with ‘clown’ among Scottish Football fans.
On top of that LNS breathed life into the ‘continuing club’ controversy which has fuelled incessant and often bitter internet debate and indeed sparked the recent vicious attacks on Jim Spence and his family and BBC Scotland – once again – by Rangers fans many of whom openly boast they refuse to buy a TV Licence to support an enemy of Rangers.
For months now we have witnessed an outpouring of information from Charlotte Fakes who has risen above early suspicion that her works were indeed clever fakes to the point that no one disputes their authenticity and, indeed, she has allegedly been reported to the Information Commissioner which is probably the best possible guarantee of the authenticity of the documentation she has provided even though her motives are still unclear.
She recently released what appears to be the final draft of the 5-Way Agreement between Oldco Rangers, Newco Rangers, the SFA, SPL and SFL which had important snippets not present in previous versions including a promise by Rangers and a prominent external newco shareholder not to take legal action the SFA, SPL and SFL and their officers and officials.
This was first alluded to in the Rangers AIM Prospectus in December last year but the reasons for the Rangers undertaking have never been clear although the documentation seemed to suggest that Rangers had been wronged in some way and was holding back on justifiable legal action possibly because it felt blackmailed by the threat of total expulsion from Scottish Football if it didn’t agree to the sanctions of the 5-Way Agreement which had originally mooted title-stripping.
One thing that puzzled me when the 5-Way Agreement was revealed was why there had ever been any need by the Scottish Football Authorities to keep it so tightly under wraps. Everything was basically in the open by then in terms of sanctions although there was the curious matter of the no legal action clause.
But yesterday Charlotte Fakes released a brutal hammer blow which will destroy all remnants of tattered credibility in the Hampden suits and, more importantly, cast serious doubt on the integrity of the Scottish legal system which must be urgently dealt with.
So what has Charlotte gone and done? Only release to the world details of the secret and tawdry side deal proposed by the SPL and agreed to by the SFA and SFL to grant immunity to Rangers newco (TRFCL) from any disciplinary action arising out of the use of Rangers EBTs and the failure to annually register the payments involved with the SFA.
This guarantee was made months before the Lord Nimmo Smith Inquiry sat for the first time and even before its Notice of Commission was prepared and it was given even before the FTTT largely ruled in Rangers’ favour over its use of the EBTs.
At this stage we don’t know if Lord Nimmo Smith and his two colleagues were aware of this incredible secret stitch-up between the signatories of the 5-Way Agreement before they heard any evidence or whether they too were kept in the dark by the Scottish Footballing Authorities who have honed their skills as mushroom farmers for decades by feeding BS to Scottish football fans.
What we not only need but deserve is a clear statement by Lord Nimmo Smith on behalf of his tribunal and its decision as to whether he knew before any evidence was given that a secret guarantee of immunity had been given to The Rangers Football Club Ltd. If he did know can he explain why he was prepared to proceed on that basis and help create some of the aggro which is tearing apart the fabric of Scottish Football and poisoning Society with strange and alien concepts of a never-ending always continuing football club which defies liquidation of its legal operating entity and repeatedly and eternally rises intact from the ashes as a company with a brand new legal entity but which isn’t a Phoenix company.
As to the SFA and SPL/SFL now in the persona of the shiny, brand-new SPFL – unless it too takes no responsibility for the deeds of its deid ancestors – what we need is a straight answer to whether the Charlotte Fakes documentation is bona fide and whether it was signed by Neil Doncaster whose name is on the draft and distributed to the SFA and SFL as stated along with the 5-Way Agreement.
And as for the SMSM isn’t it time you actually grew a pair and dealt with the serious allegations raised by the release of the Charlotte Fakes material. Does the public interest count for nothing in Scotland? If you or your editors are frightened of the ‘dirty little secrets’ an aging and failing PR man in crisis has on you then now is the time to be Spartacus and if you can’t manage that at least do a Jim Spence. You don’t need to use the documents if you are scared – all you need to do is ask the questions.
If you are told ‘No Comment’ then publish and be Spartacus and let the public know the truth and make their own judgement on the way Scotland and Scottish Football is run. If you continue to hide behind weak excuses think about moving to PR as that would seem to be your true home and there will be no crisis of conscience as none exists there as far as representing commercial non-ethical clients.
However be assured that if you cower in a dark corner, close your eyes and dream of being a Twitter Warrior then your readers will continue to judge your inability to tell the truth and turn, in ever increasing numbers, to the internet for their news albeit with many imperfections but at least with lots of people trying to prevent the truth being choked by a surfeit of succulent lamb.
And Lord Nimmo Smith as probably your staunchest supporter since your tribunal decision was issued I think I am entitled to ask another question on behalf of the much-respected poster Auldheid who truly has the wisdom of age – as reflected in his moniker – and the energy and perseverance of a young bull elephant when it came to uncovering and revealing the implications of Rangers DOS and the reluctance of all concerned including SMSM to mention it.
I had always thought that this cloak of secrecy was to hide the implications of the Wee Tax Case which should have prevented European entry for Rangers, without the sleight of hand of the Hampden suits. But now I wonder if there was a much darker motive in play as part of the secret immunity for TRFCL.
Quite simply LNS! Were you ever told or given evidence concerning the details of the Rangers Discounted Options Scheme as distinct from their EBT scheme and were you aware of the un-appealed FTTT Decision in the Aberdeen Asset Management (AAM) case concerning DOS schemes which ruled them as illegal under tax laws?
In your tribunal decision you refer to treating the EBT scheme as a continuation of the DOS scheme – cloaked under a suitably confusing name – but did you know that one very senior witness to your enquiry was well aware of the differences and I would find it incredulous that they were unaware of the implications of the AAM FTTT Decision on the Rangers DOS.
And if you weren’t apprised of the differences then it’s over to Neil Doncaster to explain whether this was another dirty secret and if not how did the SPL fail to discover and present absolutely critical evidence re the Rangers DOS which IMO could well have led Lord Nimmo Smith to stripping titles.
Posted by Ecojon
The document released by CH detailing the squalid immunity deal for TRFCL can be found at: http://www.scribd.com/doc/168302228/SPL-Undertaking-Letter