Tag Archives: Sporting Integrity

In the Name of “Sporting Integrity” Should the SPFL Relegate Hearts?

The SPL, earlier this week, issued a statement regarding Hearts.

Following Heart of Midlothian plc lodging a Notice of Intention to Appoint an Administrator with the Court of Session in Edinburgh on 17 June 2013, the SPL confirmed that a number of sporting sanctions have been applied to the club.

An SPL spokesperson said: “As Heart of Midlothian is subject to an Insolvency Event, a 15 point deduction will be applied to its total points in the League Championship for next Season 2013/14.  In addition, Heart of Midlothian is subject to an embargo on Registering Players with the SPL whilst in administration.”

There are a couple of thoughts about this.

First of all, how does the change at some point before next season from the SPL to the SPFL affect this? If the 15 point penalty which is based on 1/3 of the points gained in the preceding season is an SPL rule (as it is) how does this carry across to the SPFL? Continue reading



Filed under Administration, Football Governance, Hearts, SPFL, SPL

Sport Does Not Have Probity and Trust at Heart – Guest Post by Carl31

The FTT verdict is out!!

…no not that one, the one recently that found in favour of McLaren over HMRC, and which decided, apparently, provided you are under the jurisdiction of HMRC, that if the governing body of the sport you participate in fines you, it is tax deductible.

Please see


for a brief report.

(Below I mention some sportspeople and companies, and offer some discussion on a ruling. For clarity, I do not suggest that any person or company or party acts or acted with anything other than utmost integrity, and I do not suggest any wrongdoing other than what is already publicly known).

My understanding of this case is :

Past cases, I guess, will have made distinction between ‘commercial losses’ and ‘penalties imposed for breaches of the law’ that occur while a company is trading. So generally a number of types of business or commercial loss that eat into profit, or negate it, are deductible, but losses due to penalty for breaking the law aren’t.

But, when the company is involved in sport, the losses incurred due to breaking the law of that sport, rather than the law of the land, are deductible. It would seem that these losses are deemed as being under the heading ‘commercial losses’.

The taxpaying company argues that the fine imposed is set as a business cost that reduces profit. Just because this cost is a fine, that has come about due to what is judged as contravention of the rules of the sport participated in, does not affect the fact that it is still a business cost. It is still a cost “wholly laid out or expended for the purposes of the trade or profession”, (Income and Corporation Taxes Act 1988)(TA). Continue reading


Filed under Guest Posts, HMRC

Blue Monday: How Does It Feel? – A Guest Post by North West by Fife

May 7, 2012, was a Monday and it was sad. Not as sad as the day I travelled all the way to Inverness to see Dunfermline Athletic relegated, but sad nevertheless. Obviously it was localised sadness, isolated around these parts of West Fife mostly, and perhaps a few outposts where Pars fans have found homes in far-flung places. Nothing major, just football. Not even good football – Scottish football! Still, I was sad. Hibs had gone 3-0 up after only 15 minutes. Relegation was confirmed.

Oddly, although not surprisingly, less than a month later and the likelihood of relegation being revoked is growing. Rangers, who entered administration in February, are sliding deeper into trouble. Continue reading


Filed under Dunfermline Athletic, Football, Football Governance, Guest Posts, Rangers, SPL

What is the SPL For? Shock News – A Business Which Wants to Make Money!

On Saturday Kilmarnock’s Chairman Michael Johnston spoke about the choice facing the SPL and its members in relation to the future of “Rangers”. It is fair to say that he caused some controversy with what he said. Speaking to the BBC, he stated:-

“Members see the commercial benefits of having Rangers, even as a newco. The clubs are mindful of a sporting integrity aspect but the commercial benefits may outweigh that.”

“We need more talks before we can move on. There are still lots of discussions to be had with the SPL and with Bill Miller over his plans for Rangers. We need more clarity on his plan and how it will be structured.”

Whist some have criticised him for his statement; others have respected his honesty about the possible economic consequences for his team and others of a Rangers relegation or liquidation. It made me think about what the role of the SPL is actually meant to be. I therefore found my way to the SPL Mission Statement and Aims and Objectives. Continue reading


Filed under Football Governance, Rangers, SPL