Published on 12 Mar 2012

The dangers of Rangers’ tax shambles

Last week I asked for non-Rangers and Celtic fans in Scotland to give me their observations on the current Ibrox detox. Several hundred emails later, I surface to bring you the first of a series of blogs.

First of all, a big thank you for the hundreds of emails and tweets. It is clear that very few Scottish football fans are of the Ahmedinejad tendency – almost nobody wishes to see Rangers “wiped off the map”. But when it does come to proper and fitting punishment, a strong consensus exists, of which more later.

What comes through strongly is the belief that the Rangers debacle is a genuine opportunity to rebuild Scottish football on a more interesting and fairer model. Ramsey spoke for almost everyone when he wrote: “Most see this as the perfect opportunity to better the league and the game as a whole.” A chance to recreate genuine competition in the SPL and consider wider matters beyond the “the self-interest of not just the old firm but the entire SPL.”
The key observation, though, is that the current focus on owner Craig Whyte and declaration of his not being “fit and proper” to run a football club is missing the point.

As non-Old Firm fans see it, the decade or more long practice at Rangers of allegedly paying players one amount for tax purposes, but another larger amount to save around £45m on tax via so-called employee benefit trusts, began way before Whyte. Legal or illegal. A least one former director has publically confirmed this too.

Rosaleen said: “It all stemmed from before Whyte’s arrival, and yet nobody up here from the media is doing any serious investigating beyond him!”

Though that doesn’t square with recent significant revelations in both the Sun and Mail shedding light on Rangers’ alleged practice of paying stars one sum, but telling the authorities they were paying another, to save millions in tax. We await judgement from a tax tribunal as to whether or not this practice was legal. That this actually happened is not apparently in dispute, it is the legality that is under question.

And here we get to a huge groundswell of opinion from aggrieved fans beyond the Glasgow cauldron (pace Partick Thistle). Because the rules clearly state that you have to tell the authorities full details of player contracts or they are ineligible. If Rangers did not do this – and it is still an “if” pending that tribunal – a decade of silverware, championships and glory is under possible forfeit. The stakes could not be higher.

If that is the case, Tony writes: “In effect Rangers have fielded many players over many years in all competitions who were ineligible to play. This is confirmed by former Rangers director Hugh Adam last week and is subject to a current commission of inquiry by the Scottish Premier League.”

And it was also confirmed by Mr Adam, who told the Mail the practice had gone on for longer than a decade and predated the SPL.

What many fans cannot understand, though, is how key individuals in the game were serving both as directors of Rangers FC and on the Scottish FA and SPL. The job of directors – beyond trotting along to Ibrox and sitting in the box in a suit – is to oversee proper governance of the football club.

Campbell Ogilvie, for instance, is current president of the SFA and was not only a director of Rangers during the period under investigation, but also company secretary of the club. It was his job to know about contractual arrangements with players.

So far Mr Ogilvie has not stood aside from his current role whilst the SPL investigation is under way. How many such contracts were signed? How many did he see? Did he know about them at all? If he did, did he sanction them being signed off? If he didn’t – why wasn’t he doing his job? Is there not a conflict of interest in his current position?

We are currently putting these and other questions to Mr Ogilvie via the SFA, but as things stand we are told he is not doing any interviews but is “distancing himself from the current investigations”. When we asked if he has formally stood aside, pending the outcome of the investigation, we were told he has not.

As one fan put it: “If it is held to be true that Rangers, in implementing an unlawful tax evasion scam on a huge scale, fielded ineligible payers, whilst those responsible were serving as directors of the regulatory and licensing bodies, we can say with certainty that the game of football in Scotland has been corrupt for 15 years or so.”

One Clydebank supporter put it thus: “I am now reading that I’ve been ploughing my hard-earned cash into a league that has effectively been rigged in favour of one big side … but now I’m expected to just move on.”

This is the key area fans want some answers about and where – right or wrong – they feel they are being short-changed by what they see – time and time again – as an over-cosy relationship between the Old Firm, the SFA and SPL, and the Glasgow media.

One oft-repeated refrain is: “The media in Glasgow keep telling us how much Scottish football needs Rangers – what they mean is how much they need Rangers, not Scottish football.”

Nobody likes a cheat in sport. And here it’s claimed we have one in the shape of the loudest, biggest club with what some see as a tawdry history of bigotry, violent fans and a frankly supremacist culture. So when the bully and the cheat gets his come-uppance, there will be some vitriol.

If anything, though, I was surprised by the considered responses most made to Rangers’ implosion.

But of course there’s real anger out there: “We have been duped … for 15 years,” wrote one fan, “and we are now sinking the boot into the perpetrators of the deceit. They have had a few days of pain. We’ve suffered nearly two decades. To hell with them and all who support them or feel sorry for them. They are cheats, simple as that.”

Well, it is for the HMRC and the tribunal process to decide if Rangers FC was in fact and law a criminal and cheating organisation in the period under examination. But we can say there’s already evidence starting to emerge in public to support that as yet unproven allegation.

With the clock ticking at Ibrox, fans across Scotland are not short of ideas about what should happen. But as I said, remarkably few want Rangers wiped from the face of the earth. They just want existing rules implemented – a near-revolutionary suggestion, it would seem, given the current unfolding saga at the top of the Scottish game.

Coming up next: Crime and Punishment – What to do with Rangers Football Club; should they be found guilty; and is liquidation the only way out?

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270 reader comments

  1. Philip Edwards says:


    Tempting as it is for those of visceral feelings, football chauvinism MUST be put aside on this. There’s too much at stake, too much opportunity that could be lost.

    Certainly Rangers must be prepared to pay the full price if there has been illegality and corruption. They cannot complain. It might even encourage a sense of realism amongst the worst and most bigoted of their fans.

    But the fact is the whole financial and administrative model of world football MUST be changed. And it must be changed at the level of European employment and money exchange legislation – anything less is a waste of time.

    Sport must be designated a legal community asset owned and run as trusts, not private companies for profit. Priority must be given to development of local youngsters. All of this flies in the face of current European legislation.

    A piecemeal approach will only result in a return of corruption in due course.

    1. Des says:

      You need to go and speak with Celtic FC about their being this cosy relationship with the media, to a man/woman they detest Celtic distorting what comments are made in press conferences to stir up animosity against Celtic.To me and many others who follow Celtic the term Old Firm is outdated and gone forever and this is what the press here fear most Celtic being dominant and the press readership in the main Rangers followers wondering how this happened. I will venture my opinion on this David Murray controlled them for reasons known to him and them ,go investigate that.

      1. James says:

        Quite right Des.
        The truth is the FSA and the media are cosy with Rangers, they’ve corrupted the game and are now trying to tar Celtic with the “old firm” brush to try and damage them too. Apart from anything else they have also betrayed Rangers fans, not those sectarian biggots who foment hatred, but the thousands of ordinary fans who believe in their club. As for Celtic, they are right to keep well clear and they should defend their mainly good reputation by not pandering to Rangers baiting.

      2. SOFBTRC says:

        “F*** UEFA”

        “No bloostained poppies on our hoops”

        Lennon bringing on Zaluska to say “up ye” to Dundee United.

        Zero class. You do these things all by yourselves.

        You are not whiter than white. You may be as white as Whyte.

      3. Peter says:

        And is Neil Lennon not allowed to bring on whoever he wants? And you want to be offended by that?
        What next – should we not celebrate when we score against you because it shows zero class?
        Away and take the chip of your shoulder.

      4. Simon says:

        To SOFBTRC,
        I think you’ll find that Lennon brought Zaluska on at 4-0 up in order that he might receive a cup winners medal out of recogntion of his professionalism and hard work during the preceding season.

      5. Stevie says:

        Manchester Barcelona need i go on.

      6. Del Bhoy says:

        SOFBTRC – the UEFA banner, fair enough. The Poppy banner – definately minority opinion there amongst the fans, and also a major backfire for the GreenBrigade and they know it.
        The Zaluska substitution?!!!!! Hahahahaha! Jeesuz-H you are grasping at straws pal, and if that is the best mud that you can throw, then you’d better be in for the mudslide that’s heading the way of Rangers.

      7. All Non-Old Firm fans says:

        Great blog Alex, please keep up the good work. One word of caution…

        Please, please ignore the posts from ANY Old Firm fans, its tit-for-tat “your worse than us” rubbish that we up here have been hearing for years. Until both Club’s are rid of the bigots and their apologists, they will both remain Scotland’s shame.

        The Press and Media in Scotland is full of both sides of the Old Firm and it is in their interests to have the Status Quo.

        That is why there is no real criticism from any of them of Rangers and the SFAs dealings.

        Its great to have someone outwith the Scottish ‘establishment’ casting a critical eye over this sorry saga.

      8. Bruce says:

        So, as far as you’re concerned, we’re all bigots and apologists. Which is surely a bigotted statement?

      9. Tommo1 says:

        There’s no such animal as “the old firm”, it’s amedia invention to include and draw Celtic football club through the mud along with Rangers when their bigoted and sectarian rightwing nutter run amok! “One is bad as the other”, Naw son, I don’t think so, and I doubt very much there is such a thing as a neutral when it comes to the two, that’s why Celtic supporters MUST have their say!

      10. Big Mike says:

        Please keep Celtic out of it, it is not us that have cheated the game here in Scotland. And as a previous poster says, you are the bigot.

      11. Frank says:

        Yes this term “old firm” is libelous. When ever Rangers are culpable the media invariably spread the blame by bringing celtic in , the idea that celtic ever had a cosy relationship with the media is mad.
        I am sure that if celtic had done any of the crooked things that the Ibrox regime have perpetrated they would have been closed and parkhead long since been turned into the site for Tescos.

      12. Tommo1 says:

        Spot on, Frank – absolutely libelous. Do you recall the Scottish Media’s front page headline, bearing photographs of both Ibrox AND Celtic park, “Old Firm Star sex shame Scandal!” It was obvious to both the public AND the media that the “Old Firm star” was Alan McGreggor…what possible connection does the Rangers goalkeeper have to Celtic football club? what possible connection is there between Celtic park and the Rangers goalkeeper? The “Old Firm” tag is simply a euphemism used to ensnare, embroil and entangle Celtic FC in any mud, dirt or negativity caused and/or created by either Rangers or Sections of their supporters, usually the rancid bigot brigade! As the man said, “There is no ‘Old Firm’, when it comes to positivity.” There are no two clubs further apart in beliefs, attitudes and outlook on the planet, than Celtic and Rangers. And they are without doubt, the Scottish media darlings!

      13. para1 says:

        I am getting bored reading about all this crap,At this time its an allegation only and they are not guilty until the fat hmrc man sings.
        If you want a real story I suggest have a look at Celtic Football Club and their unsavoury links with the culture of abuse of youngsters that to date have been brushed under the carpet.
        Alan Brasil is quite happy to discuss it and I am sure he has stated his willingness to take a lie detector test to persuade any doubters.
        Money is money but peoples lives are priceless.
        I could also point to the biscuit tin problems of the celtic past whilst they were winning 9 in a row included, declaration of crowds of 25k when your testicles could not breathe at Parkhead.The under declaration amounted to an average of 15k fans per game x 20 games a season x 20 years at least…ffs you owe the tax man more than any other club in history….Maybe Im just been paranoid……………….kettle and black the celtic family way…makes you laugh..

      14. thomas cochrane says:
      15. Para1 says:

        Yes the truth hurts some people some of the time.I would however like to clear up some of the factual nonsense.
        Rfc have not caused some clubs to go burst be relegated or into administration.
        Rfc have contributed greatly to the survival of Scottish Football as we know.
        The amount of money the Rfc Fans have poured into Smaller football clubs over the years amounts to billions and most of this money was due to the superb travelling support of Rangers supporters,The second nonsensical statement that is aired constantly regarding rangers winning titles unfairly, The players that got some part of their salary from an offshore trust would have still been playing for rangers, the only people who derived benefit from this was the few individuals themselves,it is not ant different from the hundreds of thousands of businessmen and woman who use off shore accounts or trust funds to avoid paying all or some of their tax in this country,I might add that directors of Celtic Rangers and lots of others all using this method to minimise their tax bill.its nothing new and accountants have tried to find loopholes in the uk tax system since its conception,some are deemed legal after challenge and some are deemed illegal,I do believe in punishing anyone or any company for deliberately attempting to defraud the british tax payer, the key word being “deliberate”The rangers scheme was not a hidden secret, it was open and transparant and had been noted by lots of different accountants, the tax man is still unsure after years if any offence has been committed, if it was so obvious why do you think no announcement has been made despite the passage of time?
        My final point is this,Scottish Football will become the leauge of Ireland without a healthy Rfc and anyone who thinks not needs to rethink quickly,Why endanger some of the smaller clubs by insisting on an over the top punishment of RFC.I will refer to a simple matter of law to demonstrate why a lesser punishment would be beneficial to all!. A 40 year old male goes to court charged with dangerous driving he is a company director with responsability for 50 employees, the judge finds him guilty but taking his licence from him endangers the employment of the 50 persons and the quality of lives of their families, he gets an alternative sentence.A 40 year old man single unemployed man who is also 40 years old get the same charge with the same result”Guilty” the judge tells him he is a disgrace and a danger to the public and loses his licence for 2 years. This is called natural justice, The point is simple.. watch what you ask for people.I can say without any doubt the death of Scottish football is near and time is not on its side. think very carefully people before wanting the blood of the nerve centre of the game, guilyy or not guilty.the game like it or lump it needs Rfc and it needs it badly.Punishment has to be reflective of all consequences and knock on circumstances to the wider game and the wider public including employment of many…

      16. Big Mike says:

        You sound a bit upset son! Go chill!

      17. robert says:

        now that Rfc are in the sfl 3 will the head hunters back off and let scottish football recover if it can, anyone who thought that by punishing RFC would make things better were delusional and to my thoughts the demand for punishment was not for sporting inegrity but plain simple revenge and point scoring, I for 1 am glad that the RFC Fans insisted on div 3 sfl and I will offer no sympathy to any club who go under as a result of this step.remember one thing if nothing else, people seem to forget that even if you accept Rfc bought better players than they could afford via this Tax dodge/legal loophole all clubs benefitted via a feverent and mass rangers support turning up to watch these players, Rfc are now starting from scratch and we all know the masses of so called fans who have got their wish will desert their clubs in their masses as they have done for years after a one off cup final for example, 25.000 come out the woodwork and the next home gate sees 4k turning up? You live by the sword and die bye the sword,the demise of one club rightly or wrongly should not expose others to the extent they may go out of business as guess what it shows?… yes your right ,it shows they have been living outwith their means the same charge levied on RFC….Good luck to all within the game but dont blame anyone else for your own demise as hypocrits will be exposed sooner rather than later…live within your own means or die……..

      18. Tommo1 says:

        There is a huge groundswell of opinion, particularly from Rangers fans I have to say, that their clubs has been hammered enough. “How much more punishment?” they ask. I think the reality is, that if the SFA had truly been doing their job from the outset, Rangers would have been demoted to the third division instantly, had titles and cups withdrawn (if it proves their were involved in dual contracts at that time) and been ordered to repay all monies owed to clubs within and outwith Scotland. I say this not in a sense of gloating or wishing to inflict any more pain on Rangers supporters, but simply to point out the inadequacy of the SFA who, by trying to “cushion” the Ibrox club and protect them from a fall down through the leagues, they inflicted punishments they hoped would be acceptable to the rest of Scottish football – whilst allowing Rangers to stay in the top tier.
        That of course, has backfired and they now appear (Rangers) to be bounced from pillar to post by both the SFA and European officialdom when the whole issue should have been straightforward. In the end, Duff and Phelps and the SFA have done more damage to Rangers Football Club than was ever necessary. Indeed, they had EUFA threatening the whole of Scottish football as a result of their machinations.

    2. Saltaire Sam says:

      Des, everyone should fear one club being dominant. Two is bad enough.

      Sport is supposed to be about competition – if most participants have no chance of winning, it becomes pointless.

      The same thing is happening in England where a small handful of clubs are outvying each other to buy the trophies, not particularly because they want the glory, only the cash that goes with them. If you doubt that, look at how many would prefer a Champions League place to winning the league cup.

      1. SOFBTRC says:


        Who said I was offended?

        Lennon’s actions simply demonstrate (once again) a total lack of class and a contempt for the other teams in the SPL.

        I’d have been embarrassed if my team had done that. In contrast, Celtc fans are most certainly not embarrassed now. I look forward to a Green Brigade banner stating “We don’t do embarased”.

        Celtc will continue to conduct themselves in this classless manner, and their supporters will continue to do no emotions besides “enraged”. No doubt about that.

      2. Peter says:

        You might not say you are offended, but your rantings show all the characteristics of someone who clearly is.

        How many times have you mentioned Neil Lennon’s substitution now? I guess it must’ve riled you up big time?

        “Classless this”, “embarrassed that”, “banner the other one” – ake ok, whatever you say.

        This is a forum dedicated to talking about real issues of the day – where a club may be found guilty of cheating us all for the past 20 years.

        And you want to dedicate your time to talking about a substitution or a banner. I wouldn’t say you’ve got a chip on your shoulder – i’d say it was both shoulders.

        Although perhaps I should show “more class” in my response – after all you appear to still feeling the sting after a 4-0 drubbing on your own patch.

      3. SOFBTRC says:

        Celtc fans won’t talk about the “real issues of the day” because Celtc are one of the real issues of the day.

        I note that your comments have now moved towards attempts to be personally insulting. Absolutely no surprise there.

        You’re deluded. When a Celtc fan claims to have taken off their “green-tinted specs”, what they’re unaware of is that they have another 18 layers of green-tinted specs immediately below them.

        You want to talk about cheating as a “real issue of the day”?

        Well then – let’s talk about Samaras. Or Brown.

        Cheating comes in many forms, doesn’t it?

      4. Tommo1 says:

        Well said, Pedro, but you know it’s all wasted on him, don’t you? There used to be a word for it…(me thinks)…oh aye, I remember – bigotry!
        And whilst on that very same subject, do you think there will ever come a day when a tabloid hack or a broadsheet journo in Scotland will actually raise the issue of “death threats” given out will nilly by individuals associated with a certain Glasgow ex-SPL football team? We had Lennon, before him Martin O’Neil, Paul McBride, various politicians with Celtic leanings, SFA Panelists, A certain Mr. Whyte, Charles Green himself, Phelps and Duff, and of course the latest, Stuart Reagan and Neil Doncaster. All threatend by persons unknown, but obvious to the world just who they represent. Now really, you would have thought that at least SOMEONE would have picked up on this and given it the airing it deserved. Took the police months to even admit there was something worth investigating when Neil Lennon had his little parcel delivered along with the death threats, but strangely, the same body of investigators sought and found the threatening “twitter” who sent the team GB diver, Tom Daley, a naughty few lines…and all done in 12 hours! Weould make you weep, really!

      5. Peter says:

        You might not say you are offended, but your rantings show all the characteristics of someone who clearly is.

        How many times have you mentioned Neil Lennon’s substitution now? I guess it must’ve riled you up big time?

        “Classless this”, “embarrassed that”, “banner the other one” – ake ok, whatever you say.

        This is a forum dedicated to talking about real issues of the day – where a club may be found guilty of cheating us all for the past 20 years.

        Instead you want to dedicate your time to talking about a substitution or a banner. I wouldn’t say you’ve got a chip on your shoulder – i’d say it was both shoulders so you don’t appear to be showing much class yourself.

        Maybe you’re spitting the dummy because you appear to still feeling the sting after a 4-0 drubbing on your own patch.

      6. Bruce says:

        Wow, it appears our pet DU fan thinks Sammi cheated when Neilson elbowed him.

      7. SOFBTRC says:

        @ Bruce

        Your inability to read suggest to me that you are probably a member of the “Green Brigade”.

        Or, as shown on the banner on their website homepage, the “Green Brigdae”.

        Never mind sonny. As a walking advert showing kids why they shouldn’t mix methadone, glue, buckie and oxycontin, you’re doing a grand job.

      8. Bruce says:

        D’oh, wrong. SOTBOFF’s lost it. Maybe you should come support Celtic, then you might experience some joy in your life. Meantime, here’s hoping you win this weekend.

        Oh and after all your ‘family club’, obnoxious banners, holier than thou drivel, surely even you must think that..

        ‘Never mind sonny. As a walking advert showing kids why they shouldn’t mix methadone, glue, buckie and oxycontin, you’re doing a grand job.’

        …is really rather sad. Maybe hypocrisy just comes easy to you.

      9. SOFBTRC says:

        I support my home town team. I’ll leave travelling across the country in the pursuit of “success” to the plastic Old Firm fans, thanks.

      10. taimoshan says:

        My God – do you consider Rangers to have class?
        A Pars fan.

      11. Ian says:

        Your First post I ignored, this one is a rant.

        Why do YOU have a problem with a substitution?

        I am a Perthshire lad who now lives on the West Coast, I have no Irish relations nor connections to either side of the divide.

        I used to go & watch Dundee United But don’t now as it’s too far.

        I was chuffed that Lennon gave an ex player a run out.

        I wondered if he will get more games if the league is won to qualify for a medal.

        I took it that Lennon would have played him if it had not been such a crucial game & that it was a pat on the head for signing a new contract.

        Why are you getting so irate about a nothing incident concerning TWO teams who you don’t support.

        I agree with another comment, this blog is about serious issues concerning All of Scottish Football not petty distractions.

      12. Tommo1 says:

        Look, religious bigotry, sectarianism and politics aside, the reality is that Rangers football Club stand accused of a myriad of charges, amongst which are defrauding the public purse, ie, the taxman, (us) playing illegible players, (allegedly in legalese terms, since it’s not been “officially” stated as yet)bringing the game into disrepute, etc, ect. That’s the reality. Now here is the facts: Hard working and struggling SPL clubs have been demoted and in some cases gone to the wall during the period of these allegations against Rangers fielding illegible players; whilst clubs went out of business because they were unable to compete against the quality of player at Ibrox, the latter raked in not only world records in terms of titles and trophies won, but earned millions of pounds via European competion whilst others were denied such opportunities. Some SPL clubs were docked 25 points for going into administration, others were relegated, whilst others could not survive and went to the wall. Given that as the background to the charges against Rangers’ office bearers, can anyone seriously argue about the penalties imposed upon them? No one blames Rangers’ supporters (they didn’t run the club into the ground) for the situation the club is today, they can be accused of a lot of things, but not that. They are hurting because they have been betrayed by those they placed in power and trusted with their club. Whether it be Murray, Whyte or anyone else, the fact is Rangers Football Club has been battered and bruised and its supporters embarrassed and humiliated by a handful of men determined to succeed at all costs. And that cost may very well be the death of a Giant of Scottish football.

      13. Big Mike says:

        Your team do not believe in paying for the players you buy, paying their bills etc, and you have the temerity to talk about class! Go to the bottom of the class!

      14. James says:


        you should be reminded that Celtic are dominant because they have won games, and they were winning games for most of last century, well before big money and foreign players came along. They were the first British club to win the European Cup and they regularly beat English clubs whenever they play them. Clearly, Rangers have fouled up for the last twenty years, but I seem to remember them being rather successful for most of the last century as well.
        Presumably you’d be happy with mediocrity and a limit to how successful a Scotish club should be? Simply put, Celtic are a class act and need make no apology to anyone.

      15. SOFBTRC says:

        @ James

        You mean mediocrity and limited success like that enjoyed by Aberdeen (who have won more European trophies than both Old Firm clubs combined) and Dundee United, with low-budget home-grown teams in the decade before Old Firm money destroyed the game?

        Yes, I’ll have some more of that mediocrity, thanks.

      16. James says:


        No, I didn’t mean Aberdeen or Dundee United or any particular club as examples of mediocrity. Their success as teams proves my point and rather undermines your own – whatever that might be. My comment to Sam was that if Celtic and Rangers have been dominant it’s because they have been successful for longer and more consistently than most other clubs, well before big money got into the game. And you can hardly limit the success of any Scottish club for fear they might dominate the game – otherwise you would end up with mediocrity. As for your “low budget home-grown” homily, well, how far dou you want to go back? Evry single player in the Celtic team that won the European cup was home grown and from Glasgow; how home grown do you want? The truth is, most teams are now competing with players who are not home grown. The money destroying “the game” right now appears to be Rangers money, or rather not Rangers money, and it has damaged that historic club, not yours. Your only point in this forum seems to be to react to anybody who appears to likes the colour green.

      17. para1 says:

        what a plonker.. kettle and black with a massive biscuit tin during your nine first division winning years. you lot are so deluded you would miss a double decker bus smacking you right on the kisser. Business people have attempted to defraud the wonderful tax man since day dot. Individuals who are employed or self employed also have attempted to avoid paying tax if possible. its nothing new and accountants have made billions over the years trying to find loop holes in our tax system.the biscuit tin years of Glasgow Celtic might surprise you to hear this but it was tax evasion under a different name, surely you are not all so uneducated that you did not realise this? maybe we should take back your nine in a row and the european trophy you won under this tax avoidance system……or maybe because the rfc fans never asked for your blood we will just bury it under the carpet in a familiar fashion as other interesting problems that have surfaced over the years at CFC. Alan Brasil has some interesting comments on at least one of these subjects

    3. furiousgeorge says:

      Let’s not get personal SOFTBRC. There is no comparison between a banner erected by a small minority of fans months ago and the systematic cheating of not only the football world but every single tax payer in the UK which was organised and approved from the very top of the club.
      Make no mistake, this will go down as one of the biggest examples of cheating in sport, not just football and I would hope that you soon realise these pathetic attempts to distract the debate are just that – pathetic.

  2. Stephen says:

    Hi Alex
    This is a decent article but I would pick you up on 2 points:

    1. “It is clear that very few Scottish football fans are of the Ahmedinejad tendency – almost nobody wishes to see Rangers ‘wiped off the map’.”

    It might seem that way listening to Scottish broadcasters but if you listen to the terraces at every other football club you will hear them all singing the Celtic penned ditty “Having a Party When Rangers Die”. I can assure you that is a very widespread view – that goes unrepresented in the media.

    2. “… they feel they are being short-changed by what they see – time and time again – as an over cosy relationship between the Old Firm, the SFA and SPL, and the Glasgow media.”

    Oh dear…This illustrates why people were telling you not to conflate Celtic and Rangers with the “Old Firm” tag. Rangers have a cosy relationship with the Scottish media with their ex-players and fans populating most of the talk-ins and papers. Celtic have an antagonistic relationship with the press and have threatened legal actions against those who continue to try and drag Celtic into Rangers troubles and foment strife.

    1. John Cambell says:

      Superbly written Stephen. The media up in scotland, be it papers, radio phone ins or tv are full of people with rangers connections.

      1. Mike Duthie says:

        Murdo MacLeod, Davie Provan, Craig Burley, Andy Walker, John Hartson, the list goes on and on. Scottish media is full of Old Firm connections, you can’t separate the Old Firm in the media. Try viewing the Scottish media from an non Old Firm perspective, then you will see the true bias.

        Old Firm need each other, nobody else does.

    2. sceeeb says:

      Couldn’t agree more. It is preposterous to lump Celtic with Rangers under the “Old Firm” label.
      Celtic have suffered more from the SFA / SPL than any other team in Scotland. Jim Farry was sacked for not processing a player registration something no other club has suffered. A referee was forced to resign after lying regarding an overturned penalty and then conspired to cover it up. The head of Scottish refereeing, Hugh Dallas, was forced to resign over emailing a sectarian joke.There is a lot of innuendo about “Glasgow teams” cosy relationships with the SFA / SPL but closer journalistic scrutiny would quickly show that the cosy relationship has been very one sided.

      1. Ian says:

        I couldn’t agree more, I am not a celtic supporter so no bias here.

        In fact if there was a bias on my part, it would be in all the years I laughed it off & accepted the paranoia tag.

        I changed my mind while watching “the Honest Mistakes” games down in England & listening to really NEUTRAL input, the English guys thought it was a scandal, then when it happened again, that we were just Mickey Mouse.

        The crap unloaded on Neill Lennon cannot be justified, yet to read the press up here, it was somehow his own fault.

        I accepted that Rangers were skint & won against the odds because that was the way it was reported. I was AMAZED at the amount of money Walter Smith was allowed to spend, considering all the ongiong debts & issues Rangers were up against, any symathy went right out the window.

        The more I read & check up for myself the more convinced I am. I find the Campbell Ogilvie situation a scandal & the silence of the Scottish Press speaks volumes.

        There is a pro Rangers bias & it is doing every other team a disservice.

    3. CaptainQuo says:

      What a load of nonsense from the Celtic fans on here. Celtic are part of the problem too. Wasn’t this the same Celtic who complained about not getting enough penalties and proceeded to get three in a game against Aberdeen (a game in which they also won 9-0)? A club whose manager spits the dummy out and then gets his way, and yet is not criticised for bringing the game into disrepute? It’s not just Rangers who have dominated our national sport. A certain Craig Levein criticised referees once and he got fined. Celtic do it while bawling like a bairn and get rewarded.

      Celtic and Rangers fans are odious people brainwashed by the tabloids made specifically to cater to them. The Celtic support have a persecution complex and the Rangers support a superiority complex. The real victims of their constant demands for attention are genuine football fans, the national team and the Scottish leagues.

      The fans who have sympathy for the OF cancer are usually based in West Lothian, Lanarkshire or Perthshire. However, I think you will find the majority of fans outside the Central Belt are fed up of the Old Firm and their sectarianism (Celtic fans are NOT Catholic, and Rangers fans are NOT Protestant; neither even go to church!), bullying and corruption.

      This is also the same Celtic support that believe that all other clubs are “allied” to Rangers…..if you don’t believe me, read their forums. Quite how that works when we clearly have contempt for them is beyond me. Read the comments from a Celtic manager about Dunfermline “lying down to Rangers” a few seasons back to “gift” them the title. The persecution complex is rooted in the sectarianism Celtic share with Rangers. Celtic, as the “Catholics” are to pretend to be the victims of the rest of “Protestant” Scotland. It’s not hard to see this frankly insulting pantomime is restricted to the Central Belt, and we are unable to simply leave our seats and walk away, while the critics clap in adulation in their seats.

      Few of the people who promote myths such as “Scotland will be like the League of Ireland without the OF” have posession of facts to back those claims (FYI, the Irish league’s attendences are lower than the Scottish First Division, never mind the SPL).

      I can only hope we finally fire the actors and re-write the script before the show goes worldwide again and we become a laughing stock for another 15 years.

      1. thomas cochrane says:
      2. Para1 says:

        I would like to start by stating I am a fan of Rfc and always will be, I enjoyed your article and agree fully with some of your facts.I do however take offence to your statement regarding my right to be called a protestant and for that the right for some celtic fans to also be catholic. I do and know thousands of people who do attend church and chapel for that matter and I think your statement goes directly to the heart of whats wrong with our game. why does religion form part of peoples arguments? I love my team and always will but I do not link my religious beleifs with my enjoyment of a game of football, I realise we have some undesirable folk in all communities around the country but by giving them a forum that links religion to any sport only adds to their idiotic mindset.
        I have enjoyed my football banter included for 50 years,yes their is idiots amongst me like their almost certainly is amongst you at some games, but please dont assume we are all knuckle dragging monsters from the deep.the slagging and banter at football can be over the top lots of times at all grounds around the country.but if we cut out the banter does the game become boring? I do not have all the answers but I do know football and religion should not be confused and the sooner we stop allowing this the better, I dont deny anyone of any faith their right to follow it , if they go to church so be it, if they dont so be it..millins of very strong faith followers around the world have never seen a church! does this make them non belivers? dont think so…I believe my faith and my god is my own spirit, I choose my way of life and how I treat others by looking at myself and my attitude to the world. love my football ,love the banter but not at any price,,,maybe its time to walk away and start playing playstation 3 fifa and join the hundreds of thousands around the country who are turning their back on our game. getting tired of been sick and tired. cheers

  3. John Cambell says:

    Tthe very integrity of the game is at stake. Cheating is cheating. No matter which team did it.
    Scottish media reporting, as usual when it come to rangers has been as good as a cover up.
    National & International coverage will out the truth.
    Uefa are watching.

  4. Gerry says:

    There is nothing cosy about the SFA and Celtic. As recently as last season we had a refereeing cover up against Celtic exposed and the Head of the refereeing, Hugh Dallas, forced out because of sickening anti Catholic remarks that I would not repeat here.

    pandora’ s box is being crowbarred open. i hope you have plenty staying power.

    1. BassCadet says:

      “There is nothing cosy about the SFA and Celtic”


      other than their Chief Exec being on the SFA board.

    2. Iain says:

      Hugh Dallas forwarded on an innocent and inncouous e-mail just like many thousands of Celtic fans did. However it gave the Dallas haters the opportunity to set him up and get rid of him. Just like they did with Mike McCurry and Dougie McDonald. As for the SFA…perhaps the author of this piece would like to investigate the alleged links between Peter Lawwell and Stewart Regan when both were at Coors. Or a certain Paul Nolan of Nolan Associates who were involved in the head hunting process.
      As for Rangers…nothing has been proved but the kangaroo courts have them guilty. Only in parochial little Scotland.

      1. Ian says:

        What a load of tripe.

        MCCurry CHEATED Dundee United out of a trophy & ended up an embarrassment to Scottish Football.

      2. Chris says:

        Hugh Dallas….what can we say? A man in his position, felt it was ok to send that type of crass, childish, offensive e.mail from his SFA account. He actually thought this was a perfectly acceptable subject matter to spend his time on. What a fool. However, maybe he can be forgiven. When he and his Father were keen supporters of the orange walk in Shotts, his boyhood home, it was a very different world. Times have changed and Dallas became a casualty of this change. The people he offended don’t accept it any longer. They won’t stand for this type of bigotry. They’ll pull you up and deal with you. That’s the message.

      3. Willow says:

        Iain, Dallas’ email was “innocent and inncouous” was it? It was having a laugh at the victims of child abuse and suggested that the pope was a paedophile. Very innocent and inncouous.
        As for the rest of your post, you need to stop reading Leggat.

      4. gerry says:

        Innocent and innocuous you say? Are you a human?

        Only the good part of me wants your club, and the rancid and anachronistic culture of most of its followers, to die.

      5. DaveC says:

        FFS Gerry, are you human? read your post again then reflect on what you actually typed.

        I can understand you being upset by the comment on the Dallas email but for your good side, as you put it, to want me and fellow bears dead!, oh dear.

        Makes me wonder what your bad side has to hide?

      6. Stan says:

        Straight from follow follow that. Or Scotland mad?

        And set up??? What a hoot you are.

        and kangaroo courts? that’s also funny.

        The referees AND RFC are the masters of their own downfall. Nothing more, nothing less!

  5. Tonyh1888 says:

    One of the biggest issues currently floating around the whole Rangers fiasco and what concerns most fans in Scotland is that (when not if) the truth does come out, whether the “authorities” will act in a correct manner and administer punishment fitting of the crime(s).

    Rangers and it’s players have traditionally been dealt with kid gloves when it comes to sanctions being administered by the SFA. Despite constant bigoted and racist chanting and the wanton destruction of numerous European cities it took UEFA to act before anything was done by the club itself. The impotent SFA simply allowed them carte blanche and are as culpable as the club itself.

    Alarm bells were ringing long ago during the Murray years and successive huge financial losses being reported in annual accounts yet not one word was issued by the authorities.

    As I mentioned, the biggest worry is whether the SFA have the wherewithal to correctly sanction what could be the largest fraud in British sport, or whether they’ll continue to bury their heads in the sand while turning the other cheek.

    Gordon McQueen reportedly said today that Scottish Football is perceived as a laughing stock south of the border. The blame for this lies solely at the door of the SFA due to years of cronyism and their very cosy relationship with those who successively held office in Rangers Football Club.

    1. Tommo1 says:

      Well said, Tonyh. And the proof of the pudding will be seen shortly when the SPL returns their much-awaited verdict next Monday – a verdict deferred until then in Neil Doncaster’s own words
      “Until we see definitively what transpires this week at Ibrox.” The SFA and the SPL are now caught between a rock and a hard place: they must be seen to punish Rangers appropriately, yet retain them within the Premiere league AND allow them to be competitive. All you have to do is look back to 14 February and see that all we’ve had is delay upon delay upon delay, smoke and mirrors, jostling and shuffling, massaging and word-smithing all over the place in search of an opening or a loophole that will allow the powers that be the opportunity to assist Rangers in their hour of need. We have had the Minister of sport talking up for them, the leader of the SNP, and the Prime minister himself! Why would that be?
      Ok, perhaps some SPL Chairmen really do want to keep them alive and active for the financial health of their own clubs, but then that feeds the so-called paranoia and is morally questionable since many other Scottish clubs were simply either relegated and/or put completely out of business…and for a lot less reason than what has happened at Ibrox. But be in no doubt, the SFA in this country have a great deal to answer for when it comes to Rangers FC. For over a century they had allowed them to openly pursue a sectarian, bigotted policy against a particular religious group in this country, refused to report them to Uefa as they were required to and, as such, have been clearly complicit in the behaviour and actions of that club. And then they patronise others by calling them “paranoid”. Really? Are the names,Farry, Dallas,
      McCurry etc…all figments of peoples’fevered imagination? And today we have the honourable Campbell Ogilvie sitting right up there at the top of the SFA tree.
      Time’s up boys and the baw’s oe’r the dyke!

  6. Andy says:

    ‘an over cosy relationship between the Old Firm, the SFA and SPL, and the Glasgow media.’

    I don’t think Celtic’s relationship with the SFA, SPL and the Glasgow media could be described as cosy.

    Otherwise an interesting piece. Personally I only want what is fair. Currently the allegations against Rangers are unproven but it is looking very likely that the only real question is ‘when did the cheating start?’ not ‘did it happen?’. If we’re talking about at least two decades of rule breaking, ineligible players and a careless disrespect for every other club and football fan in Scotland then the punishment must be severe. Title stripping goes without saying but it shouldn’t end there.

    I will lose no sleep over whether Rangers survive as a club or not. I am not willing them to die but if that is their fate then so be it, no special dispensation should be afforded to them.

    1. Jim. says:

      Andy !
      you say that:

      “no special dispensation should be afforded to them”

      I totally agree with this, but we both know the reality of the thing is that, they WILL be afforded special dispensation.

      After all we are talking about G.R. & the S.F.A.

  7. Stephen C says:


    I must commend you on what is a level headed blog that sees both sides of the story and reports them fairly with fear or favour.

    Perhaps, should you wish to consider endowing some of your journalistic genius on the Glasgow media, you could make a healthy living handing out lessons on how to provide fair and unbiased copy.

    I, similar to the emails you have received, wish Rangers only to suffer the consequences of their actions and that those consequences are fair and reasonable for, what looks like, flagrant and systematic rule avoidance and/or breaking.

    I wonder if any of the Glasgow media are pressing Mr Ogilvie for comment. I expect not as they certainly have said so.

  8. E Anderson says:

    Celtic supporters are no longer willing to “sit at the back of the bus”. As John Reid said “those days are gone” We have been labelled as “paranoid” for as long as I can remember but it looks like we have been right all along. As your blog shows Rangers have always had friends in high places, the Scottish game needs investigation, from “outside” people as the local media is a very big part of the unfolding scandal. Good luck to all the other Scottish teams. Hail, hail.

  9. Rob says:

    First class. Really first class. Thank you.

  10. JIM WILSON says:

    As a fan of ayr united for over 40 years I have witnessed clydebank/airdrie/gretna/dundee/ motherwell being punished by SFA . And I hope in the so-called interest of Fair Play I witness rangers fc getting judged in the same way scottish fans just want some honesty which has been lost too the game by rangers actions. Every team has been cheated on the park so a few sanctions is no more than they deserve , and a level playing field which it hasnt been for years! I look forward to Neil Doncaster and stewart Regan acting for the good of the game and even relegating rangers to the bottom division regardless how big a club they are we all watch with interest! Its only justice chairmen / teams / fans…. WANT…….JIM AYR

  11. Kenny says:

    A very good summary of the current situation by someone who, I assume, has previously not been exposed to the politics of football in Scotland before. Already others have commented that you fail to understand the situation fully if you assume that the relationship between Celtic and the SFA is anything other than fraught at times. However, your focus on the untenable position of Campbell Ogilvie is well judged and I very much hope that your article will put further pressure on him doing the right thing and, temporarily, standing aside while the SFA carry out the most thorough of investigations.

  12. Paul Brennan says:

    Alex, refreshing to read a clean perspective on the matter (although I’d echo Stephen, above).

    The SFA face the biggest sporting scandal in British football and, as yet, have failed to engage.

    Its’ inconceivable the president of the FA in England could continue as though it was business as usual without commenting to anyone.

    Meanwhile responsibility for inquiry into the improper player registration allegations has been deferred to the SPL, 10 members of which have already scheduled a meeting to exploit the situation.

  13. Kenny says:

    A very good article considering your sheltered upbringing away from the politics of Scottish football. Others, quite correctly, have already questioned your views on the relationship between Celtic and the SFA. It’s certainly not cosy. However, I was delighted that you focussed on the position of Campbell Ogilvie and hope that this article will add considerable weight to the argument to have him, temporarily, stand aside while the SFA thoroughly investigates the claims of serious breach of rules by Rangers.

  14. justshatered says:

    The ‘Old Firm’ is a good lazy tag to use when discussing Celtic or Rangers because it manages to paint the two biggest clubs with the one brush and, for the media that is great, because they don’t alienate anyone and perpetuate the ‘them against us’ scenario for every other club in Scotland.
    Most Celtic fans, for years, have been wishing their club to distance themselves from Rangers even to the extent of going solo on shirt sponsors etc.

    1. SOFBTRC says:

      But you haven’t “gone solo on shirt sponsors etc.”, have you?

      The favouritism that Celtc are shown by Glasgow referees when Celtc play any of our “wee teams” is almost as bad as that shown towards Rangers. The obnoxious songs, the disgusting banners, the hatred for the other half of the Old Firm, the media saturation to the exclusion of all of our “wee teams”, makes your side just the other cheek of the same arse. There is every reason in the world to lump both of you together under one nauseating Old Firm title. You are co-dependent. You stick up for one another against the rest of us whenever it’s required. You work together to suppress the other clubs, and have done so for many many years.

      Just because you claim otherwise does not make it so.

      It’s so often the case that people hate most those who display characteristics that they see, and dislike, in themselves.

      1. Bruce says:

        Utter garbage.

        And –

        ‘Just because you claim otherwise does not make it so.’
        is an absurd thing to post.

        There are very few Glasgow referees. I could outline countless decisions wrongly given against Celtic against the wee teams, but given that statement it’d be utterly pointless. Fundamentally the media obsession is an economic reality.

      2. SOFBTRC says:

        Thanks for your thoughtful comment. Your “utter garbage” response flies in the face of overwhelming evidence.

        “I could outline countless decisions wrongly given against Celtic against the wee teams”

        Go on then.

        And for every one example that you provide, the rest of us – the supporters of the “wee teams” – can provide 100 in response.

      3. Bruce says:

        SOFBTRC – 100 in response? Be serious. Again, since you have no interest in hearing another point of view, what’s the point?

        ‘Overwhelming evidence’? Okay, media saturation? Stories about Celtic and Rangers shift papers all over Scotland. Stories about Dunfermline don’t shift papers outside of Fife. That’s not over whelming evidence, that’s reality. Stories about Celtic don’t shift papers across the UK, but stories about Man U do. That’s why the national press rarely cover Celtic but are saturated with Man U. Obnoxious songs, disgusting banners? Have you seen some of the stuff the Edinburgh teams come out with when they come to Glasgow? The wee teams are hardly angels. Suppressing the wee teams? Celtic and Rangers look after their own interests, as do every other team. And that, as long as its within the laws of the land and the game, is fair enough. Talking of Celtic and Rangers suppressing the wee teams is absurd. Think how pathetic Celtic would sound if they complained about Man U suppressing us in Europe.

        And that is more thoughtful than your nonsense deserves.

      4. John says:

        SOFBTRC…Every comment you have left shows the clear hatred you yourself have for Glasgow Celtic. Get a grip son. Dundee Utd my ****!!

      5. Night Terror says:

        Absolutely. Celtic (particularly) or Rangers may not like being bound to each other with the old Firm tag, but to fans of other teams they act in tandem when it comes to protecting their joint interests in Scottish football.

        ‘Just because you claim otherwise does not make it so.’ – spot on

      6. SOFBTRC says:


        If it’s so awful for you, feel free to leave at any time.

        The shops would be sold out of jelly and ice cream if both halves of the Old Firm disappeared permanently.

        We in the “wee teams” don’t rely on the Glasgow gutter press to provide us with information on how badly ripped-off our team was last week. We’ll leave that to you lot. Instead, we actually go to games. We see the laughable pro-Old Firm decisions for ourselves, rather than take the word of Jim Traynor or Chic Young or Murdo McLeod. We can provide examples of countless incidents that we’ve seen for ourselves. Very few of which, funnily enough, ever make it to press in the Glasgow red tops.

        On the subject of Murdo McLeod, what a fantastic, objective, honest journalist he truly is.

      7. Bruce says:

        Jeez, I’ve usually found DU fans to be pretty reasonable but you’re something else, aren’t you? A strange combination of bitterness and holier than thou arrogance.

        Still if you set the bar for ‘nauseating’ at a manager making a late substitution then you really should get out more.

        (I got the impression it was something to do with giving Zaluska enough appearances to get a medal should we win the cup)

        But, since you don’t seem to believe me, do you recall Dods handball against Celtic in the Mowbray season. The one where your manager was disappointed that he only used one hand?

        ps I go to the games too.

      8. SOFBTRC says:

        @ Bruce

        You have to be on the field or on the bench at the Scottish Cup Final to be awarded a medal.

        Sorry if pointing out your crass ignorance comes across as arrogant.

        I remember the Dods “handball” very well. No intent – no offence. Read the rules – FIFA publishes them online.

        Same game – remember the cross hit by McGeady (?) from the right that hit Dods’ hand a yard away. No intent – no chance even to move – but the ref gave Celtc a free kick? You scored from that free kick. Don’t recall that? Funnily enough, most Celtc fans have a memory that’s as abbreviated as their understanding of FIFA laws.

        Interesting that you have to go back several years to come up with an example (albeit a baseless example) of Celtc being “hard done-by”. Johnny Russell brought down. Clear penalty. Play on. That was last Sunday. Brown leads with the elbow and flattens Mackay-Stevens. No card. That was last Sunday. Samaras goes down after the slightest of contact (listens for gasps of disbelief). Immediate penalty to Celtc. That was last Sunday. The referee warns Forrest repeatedly for simulation (that’s cheating, by the way) but takes no further action. That was last Sunday. A dive to get you a free kick from which you scored your second. That was last Sunday.

        Cheating, as I said earlier, takes all sorts of forms. Doesn’t it?

        Jelly and ice cream for when both Old Firm are dead. What a party that will be.

      9. xfghjklgfd says:

        Spot on. Two ends of the same turd.

      10. Bruce says:

        Ah, our pet DU fan, tangerine tinted specs doesn’t even cover it. The extent of your silliness is revealed in your last post. The Dods handball? No intent? Are you blind? Levein was under no doubt it was a penalty.

        If Sunday’s game is an typical of your 100 examples. Every one of them is wrong, wrong, wrong. No one, not the players, not your manager not the TV pundits thought Russell should have had a penalty. Brown’s elbow? Eh? Your imagination’s in overdrive. Samaras had his heels clipped. It. Was. A. Stonewaller. The only possible doubt is that it might just have been a gnats outside the box. Anyway, I’ve had enough of your attention seeking. Its dragging this blog miles off topic.

      11. SOFBTRC says:

        If you’ve had enough of my “attention-seeking” then feel free to stop posting your drivel.

        The. Dods. “Handball”. Wasn’t. A. Penalty.

        There. Was. No. Intent.

        Levein. Did. Not. Think. It. Was. A. Penalty.

        But. He. Wound. You. Lot. Up. Eh?

        If someone in the crowd farted in the vicinity of Samaras, that would be a stonewaller in your book. Take out a subscription to ArabZone and find out what the Dundee United players and management thought about the failure to call Russell’s penalty, or the dive that led to ythe free kick, or the Zaluska substitution, etc. etc.

        Maybe get some facts before you start telling me what the opinions of people at Dundee United are on these things.

      12. Bogchuff says:

        “just the other cheek of the same ***”

        Couldn’t have put it better myself. The bahaviour of the current Celtic manager at the end of the Aberdeen Celtic game a couple of weeks ago when Aberdeen had the audacity to get a draw against them shows that there’s an expectation for the ‘wee’ teams to roll over and take a humping from the Old Farm teams. Waving your arms at the cameras and telling them to get away from him?
        Bairns, both old farm teams are bairns who have been too used to getting their own way for too long.

  15. Gerry says:

    excellent article.

    I can only hope that news channels such as C4 push this to the max. The events happening in Scottish Football indicate corruption at the highest levels for years. There are players wearing Rangers jerseys right now that leave me wondering why they are on the field as evidence suggests they are playing illegally, yet it goes on and on with an Association dragging its feet.

    I can only ask C4 News and other such outlets to find some way of raising this to the highest levels. Good article, thank you on behalf of Scottish football fans everywhere.

  16. Jupiter says:

    Tne relationship between Rangers and the media is known as “succulent lamb syndrome”. Google it if you don’t know what it means

    1. LilMe. says:

      The only google hit for that phrase is this blog.

    2. Bogchuff says:

      I googled it and got some lovely recipes, and as a good Dons fan, I have to admit I’m slightly aroused about all this talk of succulent lambs. Care to fill us in on what it means?

  17. Bernard Thompson says:

    Hi Alex,

    An interesting piece and while I share the reservations expressed by others that the “Old Firm”, rather than Rangers, enjoy a “cosy relationship” with the media, it is true that supporters of other clubs often bemoan what they simply see as a West of Scotland bias from the “Weegie” Media.

    However, there is an important story to be told about just why the Scottish mainstream media didn’t utter a word of concern about Craig Whyte until many months after he had bought the club.

    The deal to buy Rangers was completed on 6th May 2011. On 5th April that year, the following article in an independent supporters’ site questioned Mr Whyte’s ability to pass a “Fit and Proper Person” test.

    On 8th March this year, the SFA declared that they considered Whyte as having failed to meet their criteria.

    What is notable about the above article, from one of the most popular fans’ sites in Scotland – one known to be monitored by mainstream journalists – is that it does not contain the sort of polemic and conjecture often associated with unregulated blogs but rather cites published newspaper reports calling into question Whyte’s business practices dating back to 1999.

    This was at a time when David Murray was still maintaining that he would only sell Rangers to someone who could move the club forward.

    We are now invited to believe that the collective investigative powers of the mainstream media, Rangers FC and David Murray’s business empire were duped by a solictor’s letter declaring proof of funds whereas a part-time blogger sifting through some newspapers was able to uncover ample evidence that Whyte’s intentions might be suspect. It is worth noting that the then Rangers chairman Alastair Johnston also expressed grave reservations which were never fully investigated.

    So surely there is a legitimate question as to the mainstream media’s role in this – were they incompetent, negligent or complicit in bringing about a set of circumstances that has seen a football club once described by Murray as the second most influential institution in Scotland (after the Church of Scotland) to the brink if liquidation.

    Were they cajoled, shmoozed or intimidated by the prospect of being seen to scupper what seemed to be Rangers’s only lifeline. And in refusing to report the story, did they contribute to a sense of entitlement within Rangers that allowed certain officials to believe they could act without scrutiny or even being subject to the rules and laws that apply to everyone else?

    Many of these same journalists are now flatly denying the obvious charges that they at best remained silent and at worst supported practices that were to the detriment of Rangers and Scottish football. Will anyone hold them to account?

  18. kenny says:

    Alex, you mention Campbell Ogilvie, ex General Secretary of Rangers FC and now currently employed as President of the SFA. The most important post in Scottish football.

    I would ask you if Mr Ogilvie’s position would be further compromised if as alleged, he not only witnessed the payment of EBT’s to Rangers footballers whilst employed by Rangers FC, but perhaps more alarmingly, Mr Ogilvie himself was allegedly the beneficiary of EBT’s during his employment at Rangers?

    If this is proven, it is explosive news. I wonder what UEFA would make of this news, if correct?

    Are you willing to investigate this on behalf of Scottish football fans as the so called footballing media in Scotland are in collusion with the footballing authorities and are unwilling or incapable of investigating the issue?

    1. Stuart says:

      The “Rangers Tax Case” is very well documented on the web but this is the REAL skeleton in the closet. If you are prepared to follow up on the SFA/Rangers collusion angle you could be onto the Watergate of sporting corruption scandals (with only a small hint of hyperbole). The Scottish media are very keen to suppress this story and keep it off the UEFA radar.

      1. Scott says:

        Absolutely. I hope Alex is up for the challenge. To think I used to laugh at Italian football and how corrupt it appeared to be. This could be the biggest scandal in world football on our own doorstep. If proven, the only fair punishment would be the stripping of titles, cups and relegation to the Third Division. To hell with the Sky deal, the main beneficiaries are the Old Firm anyway. I speak, not as a Celtic supporter, but a Hamilton Accies fan of some 30 years standing.

  19. pete says:

    Glad to see some of the non-Scottish press actually talking about this. In particular these recent blog updates have been good to show the view of an outsider looking in – much like myself.

    Long may this continue, in fact the more coverage from outside of the Scottish press the better. It seems that will be the only way this saga will be covered properly and with impartiality.

    Overall it still seems largely underreported – if it were a Premiership team I wonder if that would be the case? – but there is much, more to come out from this. Eventually it’s going to be too hard to ignore.

    It’s pleasing that Channel 4 are actually posing the Campbell Ogilvie question. Far more than can be said of their Scottish counterparts.

    Finally, as others have said, this part – “…an over cosy relationship between the Old Firm, the SFA and SPL, and the Glasgow media…” – is inaccurate. Change ‘Old Firm’ to ‘Rangers’ and it would be less so. I’m pretty certain that many Celtic fans wish to do away with the ‘Old Firm’ tag. If it means an association with a club like Rangers then who can blame them?

  20. Stuart says:

    As a Non Old Firm fan, I certainly DO see it as the Old Firm that is all that is wrong with football for just what the posters are showing in the above posts.

    We don’t care about religious history. We just care about our country having a decent football competition.

    1. Peter says:

      Stuart, please don’t speak about “religious history” being an issue with only two clubs in Glasgow – if you’re honest, there are many clubs throughout the years who have been guilty of sectarian singing – you know, from the so-called family clubs.

      To pretend “religious history” is a Celtic / Rangers problem or to suggest that religious bigotry is not or has not been an issue with other clubs is nothing more than a downright lie.
      And we’ll never move forward until there is a proper truth and reconciliation process.

      You can’t come to Celtic Park and sing about Fenians or the Pope and then disappear back up the road and say Celtic & Rangers have a bigotry problem.

      1. SOFBTRC says:

        I’m a Dundee United supporter. I think we could be considered as a “family club”.

        And religion matters not one jot to us.

        In fact, the only time religion rears its ugly head at Tannadice is when one of the Old Firm are in town.

        There are a few neds from one or two other clubs who are incapable of thinking for themselves and who start mimicking thousands upon thousands of Old Firm fans. But don’t kid yourself that this is not an Old Firm problem. Started by the Old Firm, propagated by the Old Firm and used as a source of income by the Old Firm. Bigotry sells.

        Instead of giving us the standard Old Firm response of “they’re worse than us” or “they do it too”, try taking a long hard look at yourselves first.

        Both of you have been, and continue to be, a disgrace to the country.

    2. SOFBTRC says:

      The fact that there are 29 “dislikes” and only 8 “likes” posted for this comment, speaks volumes.

      1. Bobbymc777 says:

        Will you please explain the SOFBTRC acronym.

        I doubt you will of course as I suspect it is not very pleasant.

      2. SOFBTRC says:

        Show Old Firm Bias The Red Card.

        I agree. One of the most unpleasant aspects of the game in Scotland.

      3. Bruce says:

        Yes, 29 people think its hypocritical nonsense.

      4. Bogchuff says:

        Or [perhaps this article has attracted the attention of 67 Celtic supporters who are appalled that someone has the audacity to think their actions are disgraceful?
        just saying……..

      5. Cognitive Dissonant says:

        Bruce, what you and your OF friends commenting above fail to grasp is that Alex did not write the article from his viewpoint. He used the many hundreds/thousands of tweets/emails/texts which he received from non-OF fans to formulate the content of the blog.

        You can deny it all you like, but fans of O-38 see you are two cheeks of the same ***.

        One question – if you dont do things together with your equally distasteful neighbour, why do we have an 11-1 voting structure in the SPL? I assume you will have no objection to moving to a more ‘qualified’ or ‘simple majority’ method?


  21. Shanghai Dave says:

    What absolute nonsense Gerry, the “refereeing coverup” you speak about was a correct decision against Celtic which the club then blew out of all proportion. Everyone else in Scotland was embarrassed by that incident.

    To say the email Hugh Dallas sent had anything to do with Celtic just proves exactly what is wrong with Scottish football.

    Scottish football would survive without the old firm, the only problem is nobody else wants them.

    1. Bernard Thompson says:

      Dave, as you know, the issue was that the referee lied to Neil Lennon and asked his assistant to do the same. Try to represent things accurately.

    2. Bruce says:

      The nonsense comes from SD. While the Pernis foul may have been harsh, the foul from Kenneth a second before was a stonewaller. However the stushie came about because McDonald – a ref with a history of odd decisions against Celtic – lied to the Celtic manager and then tried to get the linesman to lie too. If you’re seriously going to defend that or suggest that Celtic weren’t fully justified in being outraged you need to bin those blue tinted specs.

      1. SOFBTRC says:

        Celtc are always “justified” in being “outraged”.

        “Outraged” is something that Celtc fans do very well.

        “We do outraged”. There you go – a new banner idea for you.

        I look forward to seeing it flown at Parkhead in big letters.

        “We do outradged”.

      2. Shanghai Dave says:

        My blue tinted specs? i support Aberdeen! remember there are other teams in Scotland. But that proves just how alike the old firm actually are, if you poke one cheek you must kiss the other cheek

    3. SOFBTRC says:
    4. EdBhoy says:

      That comment completely misses the point. The referee lied to Neil Lennon and conspired with the linesman to support the lie. The linesman refused and subsequently resigned over the issue. Whether or not the decision was correct is not the issue as the referee’s decision is final. The ref should have stuck by his decision and reasoning but tried to blame the linesman. You could argue that undue pressure was placed on the ref after the match, but pressure goes with the job.

  22. Esteban says:

    Alex, thank you for taking this on. Good luck with your continued examination of the damage Rangers have wreaked on Scottish football.

    You say a couple of things here that appear not to tally with one another: “The rules clearly state that you have to tell the authorities full details of player contracts or they are ineligible. If Rangers did not do this – and it is still an “if” pending that [tax] tribunal … .”

    Either they told the football authorities or they didn’t. The legality or otherwise of what they did to avoid paying tax and put a more expensive team on the park than they could afford is neither here nor there as far as the SFA is concerned.

  23. duggie 73 says:

    Good piece on what it covers, but worrying.

    The Rangers takeover fiasco is still being covered by football journalists when it is in essence a business story.

    The two contracts issue essentially covers itself with the publishing of the FTT(T)’s findings and will run and run and run.

    The takeover part II is in need of immediate coverage, any scoops that are to be had are likely to be found in investigating Ticketus’ role in takeover part I.

  24. tiltic says:

    “Though that doesn’t square with recent significant revelations in both the Sun and Mail “.
    Recent being the most important word.Before it was obvious that Rangers were imploding very few Scottish journalists questioned the financing of the Murray years at Ibrox. Scottish journalists were happy to be fed the party line from Rangers

  25. referee in my pocket says:

    Great article, looking forward to the others. Please ignore the persecution complex of the other half of the OF, ta.

    1. EdBhoy says:

      Just because were paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get us!

  26. KN says:

    Please don’t use the “Old Firm” tag.

    This has NOTHING to do with Celtic.

    The only time the OF tag is used in the Media here, is when the usual deny/deflect/whataboutery defense is used to defend Rangers and their fans. It gives the impression it’s a “two sides of the same coin” issue. By implication, at least some of the fault is Celtic’s.

    It Isn’t.

    Rangers did this to themselves. Hell mend them

  27. iki says:

    At last, a voice from the media which has not tasted the succulent lamb served up by Murray.

  28. Franky says:

    Good article, finally the questions that need to be asked are being asked. Its astounding that Mr Ogilvie is still in his position; this truly has the potential to be just like Italy’s 2006
    Calciopoli scandal if the two contract story is indeed true (never mind the years of alleged tax dodging).

    One small criticism is as Gerry and Stephen above said, the use of the “Old Firm” tag. Of course it’s entirely forgivable and expected for the author, as someone outside the Scottish football goldfish bowl, to conflate both Rangers and Celtic as one and the same but it is a tag which the vast majority of Celtic fans such as myself have come to resent; after all, its not our club that stands accused of defrauding the taxpayer. And as Neil Lennon’s comments to BBC Scotland yesterday proved, Celtic’s relationship with the Scottish media is anything but “cosy”.

    That aside, this is a timely article and I find it telling (and worrying) that you say that Mr Ogilvie is not giving interviews. Frankly, it stinks. If the accusations of Hugh Adam are indeed true then we have all been watching (and paying for) a crooked game for the better part of 20 years.

  29. Stevebhoy says:


    Thank you for this article and for your coverage on screen. A fair and competitive game is very important to Scottish supporters. Have you read this

    It is a very good, and reliable, article summarising some important points which deserve a wider audience.

    Keep them coming!

  30. Shug says:

    At last some proper insight into this scandal. The fawning sycophancy of Scottish football journalists on this makes my skin crawl. I’m a Kilmarnock fan. Like others I want Rangers to face whatever punitive action is required to account for the deliberate cheating they’ve employed. I’d be finished with Scottish football if my club and others roll over and allow any newco Rangers to remain in the SPL because of some fear of short term financial loss due to a revised SKY TV deal.

    Rangers fans infamously chant ‘We are the people’. If that translates into them being seen to be The Untouchables then it’s time for us all to wrap it up and go home. I genuinely feel coverage like this is essential in shining some much needed objective light on this story as Scotland, unfortunately, can be a dark insular place.

    Looking forward to further instalments. The doors open – please someone kick it in !!

    1. SOFBTRC says:

      I’m with you on that Shug. I hope all SPL clubs consult with their fans before deciding on their chosen course of action, so that they realise the potential consequences of rolling over to Old Firm / SFA requests or demands.

      The fact that the ten “wee teams” have gone ahead with a meeting in the absence of either Old Firm team seems a positive move to me. Maybe this time our Chairmen will show some cajones.

      1. Bruce says:

        Once again, SOF, this is a Rangers issue, not a Celtic issue. Rangers are in administration. Rangers have been cheating Scottish football by spending their taxes on players. Not Celtic. Is that really beyond your comprehension? Celtic have done nothing wrong here, but you are determined to use this as an excuse to have a pop at Celtic.

        At least Shug’s capable of getting that distinction.

      2. Bogchuff says:

        THIS is a rangers issue, the fact that Both the big Glasgow teams (since the term Old Firm is so offensive to some of the people posting here) have had a stranglehold on the Scottish game for too long is not.
        It’s about time the rest of us in Scotland stood up to the two big boys and did something to try and make changes which will make the league setup a lot fairer. 11 vote majority needed? That just means that if the Old Firm don’t like something, it won’t go through the vote, the stranglehold has been weakened, and it needs to be broken once and for all

      3. SOFBTRC says:

        This is an article about Rangers and their financial woes, about the cheating that led to their current predicament. As pointed out by the author, Alex Thomson, in the article’s first line:

        “Last week I asked for non-Rangers and Celtic fans in Scotland to give me their observations on the current Ibrox detox.”

        See that? NON-Rangers and Celtc fans. Is that really beyond your comprehension?

        Yet this thread is polluted by countless Celtc fans who feel the need to tell us all, yet again, how tough they have had it, how victimised they have been.

        Like the meeting between the ten SPL clubs, neither you nor your brothers in bigotry are welcome.

  31. The Iceman says:

    I would echo the earlier comments here. Delighted to see some objective interest from an outsider on this scandal. Long overdue. Up here no-one can attack Rangers without first attacking Celtic regardless. Dig deeper Alex – question CO on how much he personally benefitted from the EBT scheme ( I am assured his own personal drawings were considerable) and others in the SFA. At the very least all of those with connections to Rangers should be suspended pending investigations and the whole organisation should request an external investigation from UEFA if only to protect us as a nation from suffering the ignominity of having our FA being suspended entirely.

  32. Tony says:

    Agree with the majority of the posters, a good article – a deeper look at the issues from without a Scottish MSM viewpoint. Refreshing.

    Disappointed, however, as were others, with the casual and confusing interchanging of the terms ‘Rangers’ and ‘Old Firm’ in this article, whatever Celtic’s ills may be.

    1. SOFBTRC says:

      Nothing confusing for me.

      They hate you. You hate them.

      They sing disgusting songs. You sing disgusting songs.

      They display disgusting banners. You display disgusting banners.

      They are “victims”. You are “victims”.

      They treat the rest of the SPL with contempt. You treat the rest of the SPL with contempt.

      They spent money they didn’t have. You spent money you didn’t have.

      They have destroyed the SPL as a competitive league. You have destroyed the SPL as a competitive league.

      They conduct themselves with no class. You conduct themselves with no class.

      They represent one of the two votes needed for change. You represent one of the two votes needed for change.

      They charge the rest of us 5% to sell tickets. You charge the rest of us 5% to sell tickets.

      The “wee teams” would love to see them disappear. The “wee teams” would love to see you disappear.

      They are the Old Firm. You are the Old Firm.

      They are one cheek. You are the other cheek.

      Two cheeks of the same arse.

      1. Tony says:

        I feel your pain, SOFBTRC.

        The article above, however, is about Rangers financial mismanagement. I think term ‘Old Firm’ is unhelpful and yes, confusing in terms of the article.

        As for your charming metaphor, much better to be the cheek of an arse than an utterly insignificant yet strangely annoying plook upon said arse.

      2. SOFBTRC says:

        I wouldn’t know about that Tony, but I’ll take your word for it.

      3. SOFBTRC says:

        I wouldn’t know about that Tony; I’ll just have to take your word for it.

  33. Da_J_Doc says:

    Good blog, hopefully you are looking at the direct link this whole situation has to the high echelons at UEFA given the period covered by the tenure of its current general secretary within the SFA and the “alleged” use of dual contracts.

  34. john clarke says:

    Alex, the Rangers mess is a sports journalist’s ‘watergate’/pulitzer prize opportunity. Why don’t you team up with,say,a non-UK business/investigative journalist and really get right into uncovering all the ‘cosy relationships’ that exist between the Scottish media hacks and Rangers FC ( now happily in administration). It’s at least a two-person job, and would not be without its dangers. But I’m sure you could find a ‘deep throat’ and the European football readership interest would be massive.

  35. OLE MUNGO BHOY says:

    Thank you Alex …a fine piece of journalism. I hope you hang in and stay with this story because it’s going to go mega and we in Scotland need some honest, skillful journalism to make sense of it and we are not going to get it from the hacks in the Scottish Sports media.

    If I were you I would be less than gruntled at being associated with these Scottish “journalists” – they are not journalists in any sense of the word – they are at best sports writers and not very good at that.

    For example whatever happened to doorstepping ? White,David Murray,Campbell Ogilvie,King and the rest……… a couple of 10 second shots on camera showing them wriggling out of the grasp of forceful questions would in anybody’s book be interesting TV journalism. In Scotland to date ?…niente ,nada ..nothing.

    Suerte and keep it up ….and don’t forget the UEFA /fifa dimension Be the first to get in there !


  36. Bruce says:

    What is most disturbing in the responses Alex quotes is the mood among the fans of the other teams to stuff Celtic. The other clubs have made it known they’re having a meeting on how the SPL is going to be from now on and pointedly not invited Celtic. It may all be innocent but if they fancy they’ll impose a ‘new world order’ on Celtic they might have a shock coming. Lets be clear about this – all SPL clubs have suffered from Rangers conduct but Celtic are by far the biggest victims. This has cost them league titles and access to the Champions League because Rangers appear to have had a quality of player they could not legally afford. Celtic are a well run club, it will be a disgrace if anyone tries to make Celtic suffer because of Rangers conduct.

    1. James says:

      Celtic and Rangers have frequently held private meetings in the past to determine strategy, joint sponsorship deals, joining the English league or forming an Atlantic league, etc. Why shouldn’t the other clubs show some solidarity against this?

      1. SOFBTRC says:
    2. SOFBTRC says:

      Celtc are always the “biggest victims”, aren’t they?

      1. The Bully Wee says:

        You seem to have quite the axe to grind with Celtic FC sir do you not? I have read you bleat about the “Old Firm” but the vast majority of your comments seem to be centred to one particular side of that relationship. To be fair, celtic have the biggest support in Scotland, they have invested all of their incomes (fairly) in their players and their club. They attract multi millions into the Scottish game and have a state of the art training facility that has produced many good young players that grace teams throughout the Scottish Leagues. I cant recall banners of hatred or songs that lustily call for the end of a particular religion. Sure, there are fans amongst them that are of the “rebellious” variety, (a trait not lost on the rest of Scottish culture), although hardly of the rampaging and pillaging variety that the rest of europe had to witness in Barcelona and Manchester to name but two. In short, there has been a remarkable and profound impact on the Scottish game by the shenanigans of Rangers Football Club this last 20 years. The demise of the provincial game, the stripping of quality in the National side and a growing sense of inequality and discontent outside Glasgow. Look no further than the rise of available (apparently illegal) money on Glasgows Southside to see where this all began. Justice must be served, swiftly and without attention to anything other than the integrity of the game itself.

      2. Bernie Lomax says:

        SOFBTRC does not speak for all DUFC fans, i personally can seperate Rangers from Celtic, this whole situation is about Rangers, Celtic are not involved so please stop with this repetitive drivel lumping them in together, in this instance it makes no sense.

        Rangers are in the wrong, they need to be punished severely for the years of cheating, they have ruined Scottish Football over the last 20 years.

        Great article from a neutral, we need more of this kind of coverage, it needs to be widespread.

      3. SOFBTRC says:

        The article is about Rangers and their cheating. Yet dozens of Celtc fans felt the need to saturate the comments section with their views on just how tough they have had it as a result of Rangers’ antics. They’re also claiming all of Scottish football’s ills can be attributed to Rangers. That is certainly not the case.

        They opened the can of worms – they can deal with the fall-out.

      4. Kraljski says:

        Geez man, chill for a second will you?

        Think about how you come across in your postings, please.

        You go on about hatred etc but that’s exactly how your coming across towards not only Rangers but Celtic also.

        I get it, I truly do, you don’t like the thought being considered a “wee team” but you should’ve faced it by now that compared to both Glasgow clubs you ARE a “Wee Team”

        Many elements of your replies are correct, I accept that but to say WE (Celtic) spent money we do not have is quite laughable. Check the accounts for al other 11 clubs in the SPL, Its those accounts of CelticFC that will show we spend our own money far more than all other clubs.

        Whats Dundee United’s current debt standing at?

      5. SOFBTRC says:

        Karljski -you were within minutes of administration a few years ago. You got there by spending money you didn’t have. The end.

        Dundee United’s current debt is about three million. We’re servicing that debt and have reduced it significantly over the past three years. We have never been minutes from administration.

        Old Firm fans almost always refer to us as “wee teams” in a derogatory, condescending manner. Showing the sort of disrespect, the sort of nauseating arrogance, that Lennon showed in bringing on Zaluska for the last 2 minutes of Sunday’s cup game.

        Bully Wee – The fact that you perceive my comments as being predominantly “anti-Celtc” pretty much sums up the mentality of the “bhoys”. I am equally disgusted by both halves of the Old Firm and everything they stand for. Have you already forgotten the antics of your “Green Brigade” and their “F*** UEFA” banner at your last European match? Both sets of Old Firm fans embarrass Scotland at every opportunity.

        For what it’s worth, I consider Celtc to be slightly less objectionable than Rangers. Damned by faint praise indeed.

      6. Kraljski says:

        No, lets get facts straight we were nowhere near administration, it was full frontal out of business and it was through our support, with the help of a wealthy backer in Fergus McCann that saved our club.
        That backer himself was a supporter so is that anything to be disgraced at?

        Through our fanbase we have become a “Big Team” I can understand why your envious of that but please do consider that we bring in far more to Scottish football than your giving celtic and its supporters credit for.

      7. The Bully Wee says:

        It’s funny to me that you speak of an outrage and victimization complex and then come to a blog and scream your own version of it. Who’s the victim now? Take Celtic out of this conversation. They have done NOTHING wrong here (unless playing by the rules fairly and competitively is a crime)
        This is about Rangers Football Club. They have misappropriated funds at the expense of the game itself. They have clearly lied, covered up and used their power to muddy an already murky social landscape to their own ends.
        I would LOVE to see a strong Dundee Utd/Aberdeen/hearts and Hibs. I would LOVE to see a trickier route to a Championship through Dundee and Aberdeen rather than Glasgow year after year. I would LOVE to see a Scottish National side and major European teams peppered with top players raised on a diet of highly competitiveand technical SPL football.
        Rangers created a condition of being so far ahead technically of other SPL teams that the only recourse was to be a physical match for them. This was the source of the current desert we find ourselves in.
        You can’t keep picking fruit, there has to be a time when one sows and nurtures. The day of the locust is at an end. We MUST use this time to establish the integrity of the game. To send a message to the establishment that their winning at all costs mentality is no longer needed. That performance, integrity and expansion are the order of the day. Results will surely follow but it CANNOT be only results that are driving the game. I laud the end of the blue behemoth, their arrogance and mindless chants of ignorance and selfishness. I will be satisfied when Karma pays her visit and unloads years of unclaimed misery on the doorsteps of Ibrox. The rest of scottish football will be mightily relieved oin that day.

      8. SOFBTRC says:

        @ Bully Wee

        Most of your opinions in the above post are perfectly reasonable. But please don’t deny that Scotland’s clubs have not suffered for years at the hands of the OLD FIRM.

        YOU see, and experience, institutional bias towards Rangers.

        WE see, and experience, institutional bias towards the Old Firm.

        WE see pro-Old Firm bias that is WORSE when we’re playing Rangers, but which undoubtedly occurs when we play Celtc.

        And by “WE”, I mean fans of every other SPL club.

        Those are the facts. The fact that you disagree does not make one iota of a difference to the facts.

      9. The Carlisle Celt says:

        Chill, Celtic and their support are nothing like the Southsiders.

  37. Peter says:

    Well done Alex for having the guts to investigate this story.

    First of all I will say, like others before me – that there is most certainly no cosy relationship between Celtic & the SFA.

    You might want to take a look back to a period around 1996 when the then chief executive of the SFA, Jim Farry, deliberately failed to register Celtic striker Jorge Cadette at a vital period in the season, rendering him ineligible to play (how ironic is that given what we now know about Rangers). New Celtic owner Fergus McCann wasn’t someone to mess with though and he took on the SFA head on until Jim Farry was eventually sacked.

    The relationship between Rangers & The Scottish Football Association could not be more different. The term “Conflict of Interest” was invented for people like Campbell Ogilvie and if former director Hugh Adam can be so forthright about Rangers Football Club using double contracts, why have we yet to even hear a word from Campbell Ogilvie?
    If Hugh Adam’s claims are true – this is the biggest scandal in world football because this will have gone on for about 20 years. The stakes really are that high.

    Fans of clubs outwith Glasgow like to use the term “Old Firm” to describe Celtic & Rangers – partly out of jealousy I would imagine. But if you were to really compare both clubs, in the way both clubs conduct their affairs, Celtic & Rangers are like chalk and cheese. Good riddance to “Old Firm”.

    The arrival of Souness, for many, was a revolution. In hindsight, it was a disaster. For big spending Rangers raised the bar so high, everyone else has to get into huge debt to try and compete with only Celtic and our business model able to really do so.
    Yet the irony is much of the money Rangers spent may not have been theirs to so do.
    And take a look around the country now to see what we’ve become – three quarter empty stadiums at most grounds even for cup games.

    But prior to Souness arriving, no-one seemed to mention “Old Firm” very much because we had a very successful Aberdeen & Dundee Utd in the 80’s, as well as Celtic I may add.

    Who says football in Scotland would die if there were no Rangers. Not me, that’s for sure.

    I like many are awaiting the outcomes of various investigations – but forgive me for being somewhat sceptical because I trust no-one within the Scottish game to properly investigate and take appropriate action. The recent “revelation” that Craig Whyte wasn’t fit and proper to run a football club is as much damning as it is laughable.
    Everyone knew he wasn’t fit and proper – but the point is Campbell Ogilvie, former Rangers director and secretary is sitting in a prominent position at the SFA amidst very serious allegations – but where is the investigation into him?

    Last but not least, I don’t hope Rangers are “wiped off the map” but I wouldn’t lose a minute’s sleep if they were. Sure football might lose something (initially) but I think society would be a whole lot cleaner without this club. Remember Manchester?

    My only “hope” in all of this mess created by Rangers is that justice is done and the game is reshaped and reformed in Scotland.

    If justice is not done, never mind the game is dying – it’s already dead.

    1. vbnmcv says:

      “Fans of clubs outwith Glasgow like to use the term “Old Firm” to describe Celtic & Rangers – partly out of jealousy I would imagine. But if you were to really compare both clubs, in the way both clubs conduct their affairs, Celtic & Rangers are like chalk and cheese. Good riddance to “Old Firm”.”

      1. SOFBTRC says:

        Let me guarantee you that we are not envious or jealous of ANY aspect of the Old Firm and what they stand for.

        Indeed, every time I hear about them or read about them, my first thought is “There but for the grace of God go I”.

        You can keep telling yourselves otherwise, but we – the fans of all the “wee teams” – have far more than either set of Old Firm supporters will ever have.

        Proud to be an Arab.

    2. Cognitive Dissonant says:

      “Fans of clubs outwith Glasgow like to use the term “Old Firm” to describe Celtic & Rangers – partly out of jealousy I would imagine. But if you were to really compare both clubs, in the way both clubs conduct their affairs, Celtic & Rangers are like chalk and cheese. Good riddance to “Old Firm”.

      XD XD XD
      You couldnt make it up. Really. You couldn’t. This statement would be even funnier if it wasnt so sad that the person writing it believes it to be true. Truly astonishing.

  38. Craig says:

    David Murray used a loophole used by many other clubs, especially in the EPL. Celtic have used image rights as a means of paying their stars less tax. Tax avoidance is legal, evasion is not. Both of these schemes are classed as avoidance.

    It saddens me that other teams, especially Celtic supporters, would like to see such a great institution such as Rangers go to the wall. Scottish football is in dire straits as it is, with next to no money invested in it. The death of Rangers could spell the end of my team, Dunfermline. As much as certain fans do not like to admit it, we all need them in the league, if not only for the Sky deal.

    It is a sad day when certain fans care more about the welfare of their rivals than their own. They do not help in any way to stem the poison that occasionally oozes from our game up here.

    1. Davie says:

      Maybe you should tell the taxman, right now he’s looking for a whole chunk of cash from you.

      You should be thrown out of Scottish football, we’re well used to Rangers and Celtic running the game up here, but allowing Rangers to cheat in order to continue that winning is beyond the pale

      1. jbur says:

        If you don’t mind, could you please refrain from using the bigoted, supremacist “beyond the pale” phrase (oft used on BBC radio 4). Although I know it’s probably just a bad habit of yours, thanks.

        Otherwise, I agree with you that domination in sport as in any other business must be achieved fairly. If Rangers are found to be guilty, then who will compensate the clubs that lost so much potential revenue, not forgetting those which suffered relegation?

    2. MyNameisStan says:

      You have evidence that Celtic used this “loophole”?

      Celtic used EBTs, but not for very long and one Mr Brian Quinn stepped in and put a stop to it. Pity RFC didn’t have someone like him on their board. Instead they had a bank manager, who was friendly with Mr Murray, who let them borrow borrow all the way to oblivion. Although they did have Mr Hugh Adam, but he was completely ignored and eventually thrown out of the club by Mr Murray.

      Arsenal used EBTs but repaid it immediately when the tax man came calling.

    3. Bruce says:

      ‘It is a sad day when certain fans care more about the welfare of their rivals than their own.’

      Our club’s welfare is in pretty decent shape, thank you. Despite the increasing recent revelations about Rangers conduct.

    4. Peter says:

      “It is a sad day when certain fans care more about the welfare of their rivals than their own”

      Probably the most famous Rangers song of all, Follow Follow, contains the line “Celtic know all about their troubles”.

      Anyway, as a Celtic fan taking an interest in the Rangers mess, it’s not because I care about the welfare of Rangers, it’s because the revelations have a massive impact on my club and every other club in the country.

      Please don’t be so naive to suggest everyone should mind their own business. Everyone connected with the game of football in Scotland has a right to be interested.

  39. andy says:

    great article and good responses Celtic its not about you so dont make it so.

    Good article, the conflict of interest with regards to ogilvie is just typical of what you will find in your research.

    scottish football stinks of jobs for the boys attitude towards rangers and the fact that Mr Ogilvie feels he can carry on his job just makes a bigger mockery of us fans.

  40. Granny Smith says:

    With regards the cheating posters are right on this thread Rangers are the culprits and are at fault. The media is defending them and playing them as the victims. Mainly to save their own skins as they fed of the tit-bits from Sir Davey Murrays table – now they dont know what to do for a story!

    However the media and authorities in Scotland have long sided with either side of the Old Firm ahead of the smaller clubs. Its like the rest are irrelevant – take one main paper today. 4 pages on a pretty customary win for Celtic over Dundee United yet barely anything on a cracking game between Motherwell and Aberdeen.

    The media and authorities are so Glasgow-centric they care or know not what is going on in the rest of Scotland and Scottish football.

    As for the Old Firm tag – well why did they insist on the 11-1 votes in the SPL? Why did they insist that the top 2 spots in the SPL had far higher financial awards? They have both worked together as a pair to ensure a better position of both of them. Even the singing problems from the fans are alike. Fans of both clubs may not like it but if the cap fits…..

    firm 2 (fûrm)
    1. A commercial partnership of two or more persons, especially when unincorporated.
    2. The name or designation under which a company transacts business.

    Now for all the thumbs down from the 2 sets of fans more alike than any other in Scotland………or Britain.

  41. raymo says:

    I think that the persecution complex that we celtic fans suppossedly have, has been now proved correct.
    We have always been blamed for being paranoid. The peoblem is, we have not been paranoid enough.

  42. Christopher says:

    Great to see this getting balanced exposure away from the Scottish media, it is so biased towards Rangers up here it is actually sickening.In the words of Chick Young “Hell mend them”.

  43. JustMe says:

    The scandal box at Ranger FC (IA) has just a chink of light getting in. There are perhaps over 100 people holding the key – players, officials, and members of the SFA – perhaps even some lowly administrator/secretary.

    If a decent investigative journalist were to get a key, it would unlock the box and release the sports story of decade – but it will only be an English journalist – an outsider, you will not find anyone in Scotland who can do it.

    1. Bernie Lomax says:

      Spot on JustMe, corrupt to the core.

  44. Hannah says:

    An honest attempt at gauging the real truth to what is a massive story unfolding below the noses of Scottish based journalists who for a raft of reasons don’t want to report it.
    I hope you continue to expose the corruption in Scottish football that is so obvious to all who are not of a blue persuasion.
    As regards Mr Ovilvie, I find it incredible that he remains in place and makes no comment but bas the gall to perform the scottish cup draw yesterday.

  45. Davie says:

    The game up here is dying, the duopoly that is Rangers and Celtic run the game to their ends.

    They don’t consider other teams hemorrhaging fans and living on a budget that means we certainly have little or no chance competing with them.

    However what we have at Rangers currently goes beyond anything that has happened in the past, it’s institutionalised cheating with the connivence,at best,of senior people within our game.

    The press don’t want to know, why kill the goose that lays the golden egg, or sells papers in this case.

    Only a Uefa investigation of our corrupt game will at least restore some credibility.

    Rangers and anyone who has allowed this cheating in our game for decades should be brought to task otherwise Scottish football is dead, and I’ll join others that are lost to the game

  46. gerryt says:

    I think it’s true that a fair number here, in Scotland, just want Rangers to be punsihed fairly according to the rules in relation to their crimes (if any). The problem is that if they have commited the crimes for which there appears to be ever more compelling evidence, the penalty will be loss of honours dating back perhaps almost ten years, liquidation and the end of Rangers 1872/73 followed by re-application for any Newco to SFL 3. This would equal what everyone else seems to want – Rangers to die. So, oddly the moderate and the “extremist” want the same outcome in the same way! At the same time, no one, moderate or “extremist”, trusts the SFA/SPL to act with integrity and the suspicion is Rangers will survive with a mere smack on the hand.

  47. balham_tic says:

    Glad this has been picked up by a reputable outlet: the majority of the media outlets north of the border are meek and like to pretend there isn’t an issue.

    Alex: I’d have a word with the CEO of Celtic to see if he thinks Celtic have a cosy relationship with the SFA! That place has been riddled with Rangers men for years!

  48. Sauzee says:

    The Old Firm tag is entirely appropriate. They have been conspiring together for ‘ever’.
    They both appear to use the sectarian issue as a de facto marketing tool while making little effort to stamp it out…..and don’t get me started on the Old Firm SPL veto, their secret meetings with the English Championship, the 5% levy on away ticket sales etc etc etc.
    Two cheeks of the same a*** not two sides of the same coin.

    1. Jack Glasgow says:

      Can you clarify how Celtic has used the ‘sectarian’ issue as a marketing tool ? I don’t recall any Celtic marketing literature / radio or TV ad’s asking calling for supporters to actively be sectarian, actually the opposite is true. Celtic instigated the ‘Nil By Mounth’and ‘Bhoys Against Bigotry’ campaigns many years ago, to try and get the supporters to stop any sectarian nonsense.

      Please do not use my team as a vehicle to defend your institutionalised view of the world !

      1. Cognitive Dissonant says:

        And is there an equivalent “BhAB” or “NBM” at ANY OTHER Scottish club apart from the gruesome twosome? No. Both of you profit from the sectarian angle – dont even pretend that it doesnt.

        Ever been to Croatia? Why you will see a large number of Celtic strips there? You both used it to your own ends and to your eternal shame.


  49. Defended says:

    While this blog certainly raises good points, it is clear it has been handed around the many celtic fanzines on the internet, the disproportion of approval/disapproval shows this. These comments reflect nothing of regular scottish fans, but those of biased celtic fans. As a hibs fan, i preferred celtic in the past but not now. They are both a cancer on scottish football but for different reasons; rangers for this shameless debacle, celtic for their disgusting politics. The celtic fans here trying to pass themselves off as angels is just pathetic.

    1. Kraljski says:


      The issue here is Rangers NOT Celtic, if we were being put about as being part of the same “cancer” as the subject states then ofcourse we’d say we have no part in this and on this part we are Angels, check our balance sheet to prove this.

      1. Defended says:

        You have just proven my point that this is celtic fans commenting and not regular scottish football fans. If its meant to be about rangers then why are you here?

    2. Tommo1 says:

      Stick with Hibs, Kid, they deserve you!

  50. TImTom says:


    Forgive me but your piece continually suggests we are still waiting to hear whether the tax ‘avoidance’ practice adopted by RFC was illegal. It is my understanding they have already been found guilty and this First Tier Tribunal is actually an appeal against the decision – isn’t that the case? I continually see this point misrepresented (to my mind anyway!) in the media and I would appreciate your clarification. Otherwise, a good piece. Thanks.

  51. Honest Supporters Unite says:

    Great article, both Rangers and Celtic have contributed to the demise of Scottish football by imposing their bias voting system and ensuring a disproportionate share of any SPL income. Now Rangers have been exposed for cheating over a number of years but to me and the majority of non-old form supporters both Rangers and Celtic are the two cheeks of the same backside and are therefore no different from each-other. They are both bigoted and want away from Scottish football lets give them a push!

  52. paperboy says:

    Alex, you’ve picked up on what most people feel is the most explosive and damaging element of this story – the dual contracts.

    However, I’m curious as to why this is being equated with the Big Tax Case as, in essence, they are surely separate issues?

    What Rangers appears to accept is that it operated an Employee Benefit Trust. What it denies is that it was evading tax.

    However, if it accepts that the EBT scheme existed, then it appears to be accepting that a second contract with players existed. What remains to be discovered is whether that secondary contract was reported to the authorities in the required manner.

    It seems to me that this should be a fairly straightforward investigation and that that SPL and SFA should already have all the necessary evidence before them. Unless we are discussing contracts in addition to the EBT scheme, either the EBT scheme contracts were reported, in which case the documentation exists, or they weren’t, in which case it doesn’t. The legality of the tax case has no bearing on this issue.

    So, the governing bodies can study every contract of every Rangers player since the time that Rangers FC accepted that they were running an EBT scheme. What will require an answer from Rangers, if it is found that the second contracts weren’t registered, is exactly how long the EBT scheme was running.

    If it is found that they did not register the second contracts, the consequences for Rangers will be catastrophic and should lead to wholesale change in the governance of Scottish football. Both of which will be positive outcomes for the game in this country.

    Finally, it beggars belief that the President of the SFA, whose role as a Rangers director is central to this issue, remains in post while he and his former club are under investigation. Or at least it would beggar belief were it not that this type of behaviour appears to be firmly institutionalised in the governing body of the sport in this country (check out Jim Farry as a reference).

  53. che guevera says:

    the pandoras box of the SFA may well be that if RFC are liquidated and have to re – apply to join the 3rd division a corrupt SFA will more than likely show favouritism to RFC over other clubs whose application may be pending at the moment.

    Because of the way Scottish football is set up with 3 controlling bodies and no relegation from the 3rd division it may mean that applying the rules may mean a NEW CO. being consigned to junior football until such time as football in Scotland is restructured or another club goes bust.

    why should a club with a history of cheating (they would be guilty if this was to happen) queue jump over a small club who have spent time and money FAIRLY, to gain access to the Scottish league system? any NEW CO would be representing the cheating club that would have went bust and essentially be the same club.

    dont get me started on the OLD FIRM. the two of them are destroying scottish football for their own survival and their glory hunting fans. their influence even stretches to law enforcement in this small minded nation. thousands of old firm fans in and on the way to grounds chanting sectarian, political and illegal (under the terrorist act of the early 2000s) songs etc, while the police and stewards do nothing but fans of other teams are arrested or cautioned for trivial matters.

  54. Mark Drummond says:

    Please can we lose this ‘Old Firm’ tag?, Celtic have been cheated for the best part of a century and finally it appears we can shed some light on more recent (past 25 years) examples of this darkest of practices, do not be surprised if collusion between Rangers and he SFA is exposed as this house of cards bites the dust.

    As yourself how you would feel paying for a service for 30 years of your life whilst knowing in your heart all along the game was rigged?

    Now, at last, our thoughts are beaing realised.

    Time for payback, and if that means that the perpetrator disappears forever, I won’t shed a tear.

    1. James says:

      Maybe when Celtic stop conducting joint business with Rangers then other fans will stop using the Old Firm tag.

      1. Peter says:

        To be fair James, you have a point. As a Celtic fan I wish no part in any business with Rangers, whether that be through sponsorship or tickets or whatever and I am pretty sure most of their fans feel the same way about us. So let’s all do each other a favour.

        No to “Old Firm”

        I really hope a new setup is just around the corner which makes for a better football experience all round.

        I fully agree with a need to change the voting system to be more reflective of all teams and not just two – but at the same time I make no apologies for hoping our board look after us first and foremost.

        If the “Gang of Ten” are meeting without Celtic – why should we do anyone any favours? (They say they are meeting without Celtic AND Rangers, but let’s be honest – Rangers are in no position to be at a meeting table right now. So in truth the only club left out here is Celtic)

        As for a fairer distribution of television money, i’m all for it. But if other clubs want a fairer share of the money, they need to play a larger percentage of tv games. I am utterly sick of Sunday games and early Saturday games. I’m quite happy to see other teams take this on so we can get back to 3pm fitba more often – especially away from home. Problem is – will SKY give the same amount of money to the SPL if less games involve Celtic / Rangers?

        Don’t want to sound patronising, but will the SKY viewer tune in to ICT v Dunfermline? If not, why should SKY continue to pay what they are (a pittance anyway compared to England, but that’s the cards we’ve been dealt)

        Clubs within the gang of ten need to realise that they need to play their part and not just plead their part.

        Anyway here’s to radical change in the governance of the game, a total and clean break from the old cliquey rearguard that has held our game back for decades, a better league (like the days before Souness came) an end to all things “Old Firm” and correct justice and punishment handed out to systematic cheaters of the game, if allegations are true.

      2. Christopher says:

        A man speaking sense!

    2. Bruce says:

      I don’t know if its as simple Celtic and Rangers doing business together. If you’re referring to sponsorship deals its as much down to the sponsors, usually beer or tv companies who don’t want to be seen as favouring one side of the city.

  55. jasbhoy says:

    I can understand the fans of the other SPL teams when they say Celtic get a lot of decisions against their teams, I agree, and sometimes they are cringeworthy, however Rankers get more decisions against the other teams as well as more against Celtic, how do I know this? because the ever so impartial Scots media tell us constantly that we are paranoid, and why do they accuse us so? because they always want to deflect everyone from the truth. As has been said, the Scottish game has been corrupt for years, and I reckon it’s a whole lot longer than 20 years, if this corruption scandal had been happening in England with the president of the FA it would have made the headlines on news programmes, but not in Scotland where it is hushed up as much as possible. Thanks to real journalists like Phil Mac, Rangers Tax Case and Paul from CQN, amongst others, the truth will out, and if more “foreign” journalists pick up the baton, we may just get justice for everyone within Scottish football. Should there be no will to get to the bottom of this, then the Scottish game is already dead, how many supporters will continue if Rankers are allowed to go on relatively unpunished?

  56. Jack Glasgow says:

    Alex, as stated earlier this is a great article!

    I totally agree with most of the posters here in that I am looking for the rules to be applied fairly and without prejudice but I fear that the wheels are already in motion to smooth the way for RFC to get a light touch when it comes to punishment.

    The SPl and SFA are both not fit for purpose and needs to be cleared out and started again.

    As regards the Old Firm tag, this is used by the Scottish Media to justify the historical issues of Rangers by insinuating that one is as bad as the other. Wrong ! Rangers are on the cusp of being shown to have systematically cheated the whole of Scottish football for at least 10 years or more , all done with the connivance of the Scottish Media.

    Hopefully, you and Channel 4 will not let this story wither on the vine as I believe this will be a long haul before all of the truth comes out.

    As to Celtic being cosy with the SFA and Media then have a look back to how the Media went after Celtic when they were hours away from Administration in 1994. Hearses at Parkhead, cracked crests etc. The Scottish Media frenzy was at its peak hoping that Celtic would die.Compare that to today when you get the so called Sports journalists saying the Rangers will be allowed back into the SPl as ‘sporting integrity’ does not matter ! This comment, believe it or not, from a guy who has a nighly show on BBC Scotland, so much for a balanced and impartial viewpoint !

    This should keep you going in exclusives for a long time ! More power to your pen!

    1. James says:

      No, the Old Firm tag is used because Celtic and Rangers have frequently conducted joint business since the early 1900s. Stop conducting joint business and you will stop being known as such.

  57. Esteban says:

    Alex, just a wee follow-up to what I said at 9.09 last night.

    There is a potential link to the documents Rangers gave the SFA over the player contracts and the tribunal, but it’s not the one you seemed to be suggesting in the blog.

    If Rangers revealed all payments to players in the documents they gave the SFA, they are in the clear with the SFA, but in doing so they will surely have found it impossible to convince the tribunal that the extra payments were not contractual (otherwise, why tell the SFA?).

    If they did not reveal all to the SFA, regardless of what the tribunal finds, they have been playing with incorrectly registered players for years.

    Either way, their goose is surely cooked.

  58. Neil says:

    Fantastic article Alex. Thankyou for taking the time to report the fans views. A point of view continually ignored in Scottish football.

    A pre-emptive suggestion on your next article Crime and punishment. Having cheated the 41 other senior clubs in scotland for lord knows how long. What better or fairer punishment can there be than for Rangers FC (in what ever form they emerge from this scandal) to be relegated to the Scottish 3rd Division.

    By doing this the Rangers will be in a position to give something back to all the clubs they have erred (in both league and cup competitions). On the road back to the top of the SPL they will have to play almost every scottish club, and by bringing their legendary “loyal” fans with them they will be giving some sort of financial compensation to those they have cheated.

    This would provide a real benefit to clubs throughout scotland. …and for the Rangers fan how sweet will it be when they pick up their first SPL title after climbing through the leagues?

  59. 2NA says:

    1 – Celtic – 13.00 fouls per booking
    2 – Dundee Utd – 7.94 fouls per booking
    3 – Rangers – 7.28 fouls per booking
    4 – Aberdeen – 6.54 fouls per booking
    5 – Motherwell – 6.44 fouls per booking
    6 – Inverness CT – 6.21 fouls per booking
    7 – Dunfermline – 6.05 fouls per booking
    8 – Kilmarnock – 5.95 fouls per booking
    9 – Hibs – 5.86 fouls per booking
    10 – Hearts – 5.70 fouls per booking
    11 – St Mirren – 5.29 fouls per booking
    12 – St Johnstone – 5.17 fouls per booking

    Clearly celtic have no cosy relationship with the SFA.

    1. furiousgeorge says:

      I’d like to see this data over the past say 20 years……

    2. Bobbymc777 says:

      Can you please supply your evidence for these statistics.

  60. Joe Blow says:

    Alex, read with interest your blog and latest tweets. You will now no doubt realize this is a story that the lickspittle “sports journos” up here, don’t want to touch. For years they were fed crumbs from their master’s table when Murray ruled the roost. And now with the impending demise of RFC they have taken the usual craven route of singling out Whyte as the fall guy, whilst preserving their links to the past and with an eye on the future, not looking to make waves as to who else may be culpable in that demise, as those parties are still very much to the fore in the football establishment and continuing to play an active part in it.

    It’s a great story for anyone wanting to make their bones on the back of it, but that would take a fresh and inquisitive eye and not someone in thrall to the usual suspects up here. Maybe a Dispatches expose or the like is needed. But for now you keep digging and asking the questions till the levee breaks, as it surely must if the First Tier Tribunal rule against them in the big tax case.

    Guys like the Rangerstaxcase blog have some good stuff if you are looking to speak to others who may know something you don’t. He was in the Guardian recently making comment.

    So more power to you and keep at it.

  61. JammyT says:

    A great piece, and the comments below exemplify why you were right to seek views only from non-OF fans. It is almost impossible to have a reasoned debate on this issue with either side represented.

    The vast majority of non-OF fans in Scotland will agree that the media, the SFA and the referees/officials have a practice of being cosy with both Rangers and Celtic.

    Whilst it may be argued by Celtic fans they are cosier with Rangers, nonetheless Celtic benefit from more “rub-of-the-green” with the decision makers in whatever form than any of the other non-OF clubs.

    The non-OF clubs in Scotland must now stand up and be counted on this issue. The kangaroo court that is the SFA and SPL must be dismantled and restructured with a system that reflects the rules of natural justice. Decision makers – judge, jury whatever cannot have any conflict of interest in the process of making a decision. Scottish football is where it is partly because such conflict has been “ignored”.

    1. Bruce says:

      It is almost impossible to have a reasoned debate on this issue with either side represented.

      What a ludicrous and arrogant statement,

      1. Bogchuff says:

        You need to stop looking at the world through Old Firm tinted glasses.
        Ludicrous? not from where anyone who doesn’t support rangers or celtic.
        Arrogant? is it not even more arrogant to think that the other 10 teams in Scotland are wrong because they’re not Rangers or Celtic?
        Arrogance would be to hold secret m,eetings to discuss how to engineer the system so that only 2 clubs benefit, and that really IS ludicrous

      2. Bruce says:

        Now perhaps you’d care to demonstrate where I said any of that.

        The original statement remains arrogant, ludicrous, condescending and stupid. Reading the absurd moral posturing of some, not all, non OF fans on this blog shows how stupid a comment it is.

        Alex asked for the views of non-OF fans last week. Not in this blog. If he didn’t want to hear from OF fans he’d have made that clear.

        Oh and refs have a cosy relationship with Celtic? That’ll be why they went on strike against Celtic last season.

  62. oorbrian says:

    As a Falkirk Fan I do not see why fans outside the Old Firm would want to keep Rangers in Scottish Football. Only ‘ the big two ‘ benefit from this situation. Celtic need Rangers to keep the status quo alive. Smaller teams benefit very little from the elitist media centred love pact and indeed lose many bums on seats finance due to their sacred TV deals. Get them out andlet the Scottish game become a paying spectator sport again

    1. E Anderson says:

      I think this is a very good illustration of the Supremacist culture you refer to Alex.

  63. William says:

    Alex, there’s one you should know about Scottish football. Rangers are the team everyone aspires to be, the supporters of Celtic are utterly obsessed with RFC and always have been.

    You only need to look at your comments section, to see how many of their fans spend their entire life talking about our great club.

    Don’t be fooled into thinking this is merely football rivalry though. It’s more to do with a sectarian campaign orchestrated by militant Celtic fans and supporters of Irish terrorism.

    Unfortunately for the obsessed, Rangers will not be in administration much longer. We will rise again, dominate Scottish football for another 140 years and we shall remember the very people who attempted to kick our club and fans when at our lowest point.

    Be assured, we will haunt the Rangers haters for a very long time and you know what?

    They know what’s coming their way very soon.

    1. Bruce says:

      Hmmmm… Why would we aspire to be a failed football club?

      And posting about Rangers in a blog about Rangers when they’re in the middle of a complete meltdown is obsessed? I guess Alex must be obsessed with Rangers too, by that rationale.

    2. WeAreTaxPayers says:

      William, you are appropriatley thick, lovin’ your pain.

    3. E Anderson says:

      I think this is a very good illustration of the Supremacist culture you refer to Alex.

      Replied to wrong post, not much good with computers. (lol}.

  64. laptoployal says:

    Congratulations on an excellent article Alex. Thank goodness there are some journalists who are willing to investigate this enormous story. As you may have gathered, while there has been extensive discussion of these issues on the internet over the last year, the mainstream Scottish media and the Scottish football authorities seem to be desperately trying to pretend there is nothing to talk about. Their collusion in this scandal is a key part of the story.

  65. Colin says:

    Vladimir Romanov has castigated Scottish football for corruption for years now – aided and abetted by the Glasgow based ‘media monkeys’. Oh how the press laughed and he became ‘Mad Vlad’. Interestingly the SFA didn’t laugh and they decided that fines were the way to suppress any suggestion that the game in Scotland was a bogey.

    Whether he is sane or not, he was remarkably prescient. Or could it be that Campbell Ogilvey let slip what was really going on when he joined Hearts in November 2005 ?

  66. Johnny Boyd says:


    Are you surprised an article about Rangers has Celtic supporters crawling all over it?

    You shouldn’t be, as that’s the way it is in Scotland. Rangers are the biggest club, with biggest support and have the potential to get bigger – something many Celtic fans are envious of.

    I’m sure those Celtic fans concerned about tax avoidance will be asking for an investigation into their own club when they ‘diddled’ the figures by thousands of those attending games at Celtic Park in the 80’s?

    In the spirit of honesty and integrity surely they will pay what they owe to Her Majesty’s Government?

    In the meantime, Rangers FC should disassociate itself with anything to do with Celtic FC, its IRA supporter fan base and its thousands of defenders of child abuse cover up.


    1. Peter says:

      It’s no wonder many people want your rotten club to go to the wall. As soon as the conversation gets too hot, the usual remarks about child abuse come to the fore. It’s as predictable as it is sick.

      Take a look at the comments from supporters of various teams on this page, 99% of them have a genuine interest in making the game better and wanting to move forward.

      Then there’s you – the 1% who cannot help but use child abuse to hit back.

      Keep it up Johnny – you only make a fool of yourself & your club.

      On to another point. You accuse Celtic of falsifying attendances in the 80’s? You have as much proof that they did as you have evidence to prove your own club or any other club in Scotland and England didn’t do the same.

      In other words – you have an accusation. Unfortunately for you, that’s all it is.

      Put up or shut up. In fact, just shut up.

    2. Tony says:

      Johnny Boyd

      Oh dear. Sometimes you guys just can’t help yourselves, can you? Classy stuff.

      Proof, if any was needed, as to why many will be happy to see a certain type of Rangers fan suffer the pain of watching their team die.

    3. Bogchuff says:

      And in one comment you manage to sum up the “OK so we might have been cheating for decades, but look at them, they do bad things too” mentality that supporters of the other 10 SPL teams have known existed for years.
      The Scottish game has suffered greatly by the actions of Rangers, how many other teams might have made it into Europe iif Rangers hadn’t sheated like they did?
      How much money will be lost on the SKY deal if Rangers ceases to exist or goes down to the 3rd division?
      Just because someone else is guilty of something, it doesn’t make Rangers innocent.

  67. Simey says:

    Good article, but as a Hearts fan i’d like to comment also on your use of the term Old Firm. Rangers are the club which operated a sectarian employment policy for 116 years – not the Old Firm. Rangers then went on (apparently) to cheat for the next 20 odd years. Rangers fans attended a UEFA Cup Final, their team lost and they rioted. They have been banned and fined by UEFA for their sectarian singing. A major problem in Scotland is the lumping together of all things Celtic and Rangers. Like all clubs; celtic wil have its share of nutters – look at the behaviour of a supporter of my club last season!
    The disturbing thing is that the corruption and cheating in Scotland has been down to one club. We’ve had the Secretary of the SFA having to resign as he lied about his failure to register a Celtic player in time for a cup match against who? Rangers of course. We’ve had the SFA ignore Rangers’ obnoxious employment policy. We’ve had senior SFA jobs go to McClelland, Smith, Bain, Ogilvie etc. Would an ex Real Madrid player become president of the Spanish FA? Would Barca tolerate that? Yet, Gordon Smith rises to the top in Scotland. Like it or not there is a strong link between football and religion in Scotland. Rangers created it with their sectarian employment policy. So Hugh Dallas making anti-Catholic jokes while heading up our referees is significant. Ex-refs touring the after dinner circuit saying how they favoured Rangers is equally as embarrassing. Ask Hearts fans about the incredible performance of linesman Andy Davies when Rangers needed a hand in the league run in a few years back. However, I’m now doing what Rangers fans do so forgive me. See when you go through all the evidence, they come back with one isolated case where they feel hard done to or where celtic got a decision. Boyd had a goal disallowed at Fir Park, Nakamura got a free kick at Love Street. That free kick was brought up for about 3 years. McCulloch should have had a penalty against Hearts 2 weeks ago and then Hearts get one! It’s pathetic! Scottish football has been run for the benefit of one club for years. Don’t ask why they didn’t inform the SFA of Rangers’ cheating. Ask why it was convenient for the SFA to have people who knew what was going on at Ibrox in these senior SFA positions. Then you’ll get closer to the truth.

  68. Mike Duthie says:

    Laughable comments from Celtic supporters, to claim the SFA or the media favour either over the other is crazy talk. The media is full of ex players from both teams, and the reporting always heavily favours the old firm. Look at the difference in column space over the weekend Quarter Finals as example.

    The Old Firm and the printed media need each other, Celtic need Rangers, Scottish football doesn’t.

  69. pgal says:

    Plain and simple: Scottish Football is corrupt.
    Tha SFA and Rangers’ placeholders who turned a blind eye to financial doping should be brought to justice.
    With the best will in the world, the likes of Campbell Ogilvie is surely culpable – it’s unbelievable negligence as regards the two contracts situation, even if he swears he knew nothing.
    And I congratulate you, Mister Thomson, for getting involved in trying to expose these shenanigans before they get swept under that big SFA carpet.
    All the normal fan craves is fair play. Speaking of which….
    you should look at the refereeing situation in Scotland over the last few years if you have any spare time – they are part of this mess too.

  70. Benny Rooney's Army says:

    Be interesting to see what someone from outside has to say about all this.

    We are incapable of having a rational debate in Scotland about football.

    Sad but true.

    hink all everybody wants is the truth no bias no aggendas just the truth.

  71. OttoKaiser says:


    Another tiny slant to this SFA thing. A number of years ago, 2007 I think, Rangers effectively “poached” the then Scotland manager (Walter Smith). Eventually the matter was settled as a compensation agreement between the SFA and Rangers. The figure agreed was in the region of £400k from memory. However, it has never, to my knowledge, been confirmed that this was ever been paid. The SFA’s current chief exec. Mr Regan refused to be drawn on this issue last week, with the question remaining – did the SFA simply not enforce the agreement?

    It may well have been paid but no evidence has been forthcoming to prove the fact, despite being asked several times and from various outlets.

    Oh, and you may want to have a word with the investigative author Tom Bower who may be able to give you some further information on another example of “dark practice” in relation to Rangers.

  72. JOHN says:

    Between 2003-05 Ogilvie filed contracts with SFA for players who received £21M of EBT payments. He was also SFA Treasurer at time

  73. yeovilceltic says:

    I think rangers players have taken a pay cut in theory-however its the rangers way for them to recieve the shortfall in brown envelopes or secret bank acounts.

  74. teamspirit says:

    I will add my voice to those congratulating you on taking a proper journalistic approach to this issue – unlike much of the Scottish mainstream press. However I also want to address the “old firm” tag. Several Celtic supporters have pointed out that this is an unhelpful label, but other teams’ supporters stated quite rightly that there is cause for referring to Celtic and Rangers collectively in some cases. The reality is that both sides have a valid viewpoint. However statements like “an over-cosy relationship between the Old Firm, the SFA and SPL, and the Glasgow media” show the trap that this convenient label engenders. Celtic having a cosy relationship with the media, with the footballing authorities? As they would say – are you having a laugh? So this “old firm” short hand really has to go because it lends itself too easily to such accidental misapplication. Of course, as has been pointed out, sometimes this use is malicious – in the sense of deliberately misrepresenting a RFC (IA) issue as a joint Celtic / RFC (IA) issue. (Not, of course, that I am implying that this happened in the above article) When it comes to concerns about division of money or whatever there is nothing preventing people attributing this to “Celtic and Rangers”. We don’t need the “old firm” label – it really is criminally misleading. “Old firm” misuse EBT’s anyone?

  75. johann says:

    Well done Alex please keep shining your light where others fail to do so..this is bigger than you think.

    1. somner9 says:

      Well said Johann, seems we could be like-minded on that thought:)

  76. gerry says:

    Alex-you are a breath of fresh air-that i hope-in time-will be a hurricane of scrutiny and investigation from the Ch4 team into the affairs of rfc-you have the biggest sports scandal in scottish football history in your hands-i have been a Ch4 devotee since 1982 and have admired the courage of your reporters risking theyre lives in dangerous places-you mention your surprised about the mute response to punish rfc from fans around scotland-thats because rfc are the spitoon of the racists and bigots-the point is- Scotland is unable to investigate this honestly and thouroughly-so go getem Floyd

  77. Stephen O'Donnell says:

    Excellent piece. A distinction needs to be drawn between the laws of the land regarding tax, and the laws of association football, as laid down by The SFA and UEFA.

    The tax man doesn’t care that an individual has one or 21 contracts, so long as the correct tax is being declared and paid on them.

    Conversely, the football authorities have no interest in tax affairs, so long as all contracts for players are declared to avoid the appearance of an “unfair advantage”.

    The SFA and SPL will already know the number of contracts declared for each player (it’s in the filing cabinet), so can rule immediately that all players not meeting the requirement are ineligible to play. I am sure that Campbell Ogilvie will be more than happy to help, by telling them the specific details of contractual dealings, whilst he was responsible at Rangers (in Administration).

    A good lawyer may well argue, however, that payments to EBT’s were not made directly to the players, but were merely investments in an offshore vehicle. This could mean that they may not need to be declared.

    PS. In simple terms, an EBT works like this.

    1. Player A invests £1 into an investment vehicle, and gets 1 share option in return.
    2. Company B invests £1 million in the same investment vehicle, and is granted 1,000,000 share options.
    3. Company B neglects to exercise it’s share options by the specified date.
    4. Player A exercises his option, and now has the only 1 share of an investment vehicle, containing £1,000,001.

    As you can see, the company did not pay any money to the player, but the end result is as if it had (minus the tax, of course).

  78. Aidenmor says:

    Alex, great read, i wish you well but if you can imagine the jury and judge of the movie Mississippi Burning, well that’s what you will be up against. Good hunting

    1. gerry says:

      try and interview Campbell Ogilvy 1st-Regan and Doncaster if he wont speak and we should have a resignation-the way it stands just now -they should all go-his standing down would have been normal practice-the fact hes still there indicates complicity which makes all theyre positions untenable-domino effect only happens when they are all too close-if this dosent happen then scottish football holds no iterest for me and for many others-how can cheats win in the end?

  79. Miguel says:

    On the whole very good. Celtic are not the Old Firm. You may want to speak to Michael Grant at the Herald who has a good article on the types of questions the scottish tabloids will NEVER ask. the ‘succulent lamb’churnalists of the media up here are a disgrace, blatantly lie (fact) and incite more hatred and bigotry than your average bigot on the street. Hope you have the will to stick with this Alex.

  80. Tony says:

    Delighted someone with your experience is taking an interest in something with some may view as a perochial matter such as this. For years we have been forced to swallow the utter rubbish presented to us up here from the laptop loyals such as Darrell King and Jim Traynor, truly succulent lamb eaters!!!
    This story may be as unbelievable as a Dan Brown novel with more twists and turns than Brands Hatch. The sad thing is that it is true!!!! There is prima facie evidence that Rangers (IA) have operated in a financially skewed marketplace for a number of years. This coupled with the fact that, at this time, our current SFA President sat as a Director of the Company who operated the EBT which, by its very existance, was designed to give a financial leg up to them. Hugh Adam, also a Director of RFC(IA) has stated that players may have had 2 contracts during this time. This, if it proves to be true, is in clear breach of all the rules relating to sporting integrity. The SFA are duty bound to ensure that their rules are complied with by member clubs yet they hand over the investigation into RFC(IA)to the SPL.
    I truly hope that you are in this for the Long Run.

  81. GWG says:

    Well done Mr Thompson for giving us football supporters in Scotland a breath of fresh air when it come to honest and “factual” journalism instead of the same old toddling by so called journalists in their quest to be accepted by the establishment…….. Thank-you

  82. somner9 says:

    Excellent article in that it exposes the complete blindness to this day of the old firm fans in accepting what is and has been wrong about their clubs, the bigots in their support and how they do business.

    Rangers are finished, the furore that will ensue when both the SFA & SPL try to “smooth over” the catalogue of cheating, tax evasion and duplicity will cap it off! but not unfortunately before we have a series of as expected sham findings and actions by both bodies.

    you would like to think that inside both bodies people will have relaised that this can’t be contained or defended or worse still kept “in-house” sadly their track record to date is to do nothing and hope it will fade away.

    Sectarian singing by both old firm clubs has been dealt with by UEFA, it happens at every scottish ground they visit but neither the SFA or SPL have done one thing about it. Why??? they don’t want to upset the old firm, who sit in key postions in both organisations.

    This will be a football fans revolution brought about by the governing bodies shameful attitudes and duplicit dealings. The mother of all storms is about to hit scottish football, in many ways it will be the “Perfect Storm”…

    When the derisory punishment is handed down to Rangers, I can tell you the TV money will walk! they have already made their feelings known.

    Fans from every other club will join in condemnation and organise protests, boycotts and force their club’s boards to vote again!

    UEFA will be forced to threaten the SFA and the SPL to change their decisions or risk expulsion, as they seek to distance themselves from the scottish bodies weak and corrupt image.

    The circus is only parading through town at the moment, wait until the performances start for real and get your self a front row seat!

    They’ll be no SPL national TV coverage next season, the other half of the old firm will feel that in TV money, sponsorship and attendance decline. The rest of scottish football will take the opportunity to get our game CLEAN!

  83. Jekyllislandcorruption says:

    For fans of clubs outwith Celtic and Rangers to suggest that it’s time to get a fairer say then you need to get a history lesson and realise that without either your clubs would be finished before now.

    Other than your clubs utter failings to bring through decent youth players with adequate technique I would also mention the Sky TV deal vetoed by the 10 smaller clubs in preference to Sentanta. Celtic and Rangers both knew that the Sky deal was best for SPL but were were made to sign upto the now defunct sports channel leaving a terrible bargaining position with SKY.

    Rangers were a diseased football club from the outset with their policy of non-catholics, and at a time when Irish catholics were 3rd rate citizens in society which only encompasses the horrible psyche Ibrox way. Their history is blighted with out right violence and sporting controversy and the fans know it. Celtic have suffered cup final and league losses due to some ‘strange’ refereeing and law ‘infringements’ over the century and have been labelled paranoid by the West of Scotland media. This is despite many now proven instances of institunional bias.

    So now the veil has been blown off. This utterly diabolical situation of Rangers tax and contracts as well as the SFA being incumbent of Rangers minded officials through the years, most recently the incompetent rangers fan Peat and unqualified Smith, shows what we were up against.

    For it to take a Channel 4 journalist to point out the elephant in the room before the scottish ‘meedja’ adds to the near hilarity. The missed every scoop since Craig Whyte appeared from nowhere to a being a scottish billionaire.

    Ogilvie and the SFA’s silence is defeaning but now that Alex has dared to ask them the million dollar question watch the ‘meedja’ scurry to defend themselves and Rangers interests.

    Great stuff Alex.

    p.s. Ahmedinejad never actually said “wipe Israel off the map”. This is a widely and I suspect deliberate mis-interpretation that added weight to western media support for zionist intervention.

    Also Iranian self-determination has been illegaly and criminally controlled since now proven American involvent with the Shah in 1950’s.

    1. Bogchuff says:

      Aberdeen voted for the SKY TV deal too, please don’t lump us in with the otehr 9.

  84. Ryan Malone says:

    Great article although there are a couple of inaccuracies. Firstly, the tribunal will not decide if the 2nd contracts are against the rules. Even if Rangers win the tax case secondary contracts would deem their players ineligible as they would not be properly registered. Secondly, Rangers problems and the whole issue is nothing to do with the so-called old firm. It is entirely Rangers’ doing and Rangers mess – possibly with a little help from the blazers at the SFA.

  85. Kraljski says:

    I also hope that this whole farce of a situation can be used to make Scottish football a better, more competitive league as I believe that it will have a far better effect on the country as a whole.

    1. Limmy says:

      Can’t believe I read at the bottom of this article “Coming up next: Crime and Punishment – What to do with Rangers Football Club; should they be found guilty”

      What sort of shoddy nonsense is this? Is it a case that you have no news to report so you’re just making up scenarios to fill a page?

  86. james anthony barr says:

    Every journalist in Scotland`s main stream media has had the opportunity to ask the questions asked by Alex Thomson…..none have. Some of them have talent, none of them have the fire to challenge the Scottish Establishment`s protection of Rangers. Plaudits to Alex and , to the Scottish journalists, you are a shame on what could be an important organ.

  87. Sam says:

    To the Celtic fans who believe they have nothing in common with rangers, so should we should not use the title ” oldfirm”
    I quote Burns” O wad some power the giftie gie us… To see oursels as ithers see us!”

  88. Peter says:

    @ SOFBTRC 13 March 2012 at 5:19 pm

    I have made no personal insults towards you at all. Once again you have shown your amazing ability at being offended (or insulted) at the very least wee thing.

    Celtic are not the “issue of the day”. If you don’t know by now why, then I fear you will never know. But i’ll give you a wee tip – look at the headline at the top of the page.

    But you want to turn it into a rant about Celtic banners, substitutions yadda yadda yadda

    You seriously want to compare the alleged cheating of a player to the systematic cheating of a club for over 20 years?

    And you dare to call me deluded?

    1. SOFBTRC says:

      I looked at the top of the page. Here’s what I read:

      “Last week I asked for non-Rangers and Celtic fans in Scotland to give me their observations on the current Ibrox detox.”

      Why are there so many Celtc fans here bleating about how hard-done-by they are? This has a lot more to do with the teams, like my team, that have been REALLY screwed by Rangers’ cheating.

      Mike McCurry, for example. Kenny Clark as another.

      The author of the article asked for NON-Old Firm opinions. So thank you and goodnight.

      1. Peter says:

        The top of the page reads: “The Dangers of Rangers’ Tax Shambles” – not the Old Firm tax shambles, not the Celtic tax shambles.

        You accuse Celtic fans of bleating but by God you don’t half do irony.

        You accuse me of insulting comments only for you to rant on to someone else about methadone, glue & buckie. You like to give it out but bleat when it’s directed to you?

        At this moment in time, the biggest scandal that could be about to hit our game and it involves one club – Rangers – yet you have done everything in your power to bring Celtic’s name into it.

        There is no point in debating with someone like you because you sound as if you are so filled with rage you are unable to see reason and rationale.

        I mean 20 years of tax dodging / second contracts etc (allegedly) V a Green Brigade banner or a Samaras dive (allegedly). No contest really eh?

        You say your team has been REALLY screwed by Rangers’ cheating? Your entire raison d’etre on this forum is about attacking Celtic.

        Lastly, the author of the page said he looked for non Rangers & Celtic views LAST WEEK, not here today.

        Good night to you too.

      2. SOFBTRC says:

        Celtc’s name was “brought into it” by the massive number of Celtc fans who have invaded this page to express their “outrage”.

        I find it amusing that Celtc fans seem more “outraged” about Rangers and their cheating than are any of the fans from teams who have REALLY been screwed by Rangers.

        But then that’s Celtc fans all over, isn’t it?

        “We do outrage”.

        Rangers owe us 100K that they stole from us after a recent Scottish cup tie. What do they owe you?

        So just why is it that Celtc fans are so anxious for “justice to be done”? Nothing to do with your mutual hatred for your brother in bigotry, I’m sure.

      3. Bernie Lomax says:

        Again SOFBTRC does not speak for all DUFC fans, while he has a point that we have been screwed by referees a lot over the years, and although the vast majority of times it was against Rangers it wasn’t just against them, he is however wrong to go down the ‘Old Firm’ route in this case and lump the two clubs together.

        This is about Rangers only and the mis doings of that disgusting football club.

      4. SOFBTRC says:

        I understand the current issue and the fact that this particular issue primarily concerns Rangers. See my response to your comment further up the page on that point though.

        However, if I’m so wrong, it’s interesting that ten SPL clubs met yesterday to discuss the future of the game. Neither Old Firm club was invited to the talks.

        Odd, given that Celtc are just “one of the lads”, don’t you think? The talks were precipitated by the current cheating crisis at Ibrox, yet neither Old Firm club was invited. Clearly the SPL Chairmen didn’t want Celtc there for whatever reason. Perhaps they feel that Celtc are part of the problem rather than part of the solution?

    2. the taxman cometh says:

      don’t feed the trolls there are those who’s aim is to stifle debate through deflection

    3. Bruce says:

      Peter, I’d ignore him from now. Its quite clear that he’s on here trolling.

      1. Peter says:

        Good advice Bruce.

  89. holger meins says:

    Good blogs Alex. Hope you have enjoyed the input of reasonable people – ie non OLD FIRM fans.

    However, as you can see from the comments above, Scotland is blighted by medieval religious beliefs akin to something you would find in Haiti. When there is open football discussion the OLD FIRM brothers invariably dive in with religious mud slinging. It is very sad to have people arguing about fairy tales when it is football that is the topic. Scotland as a country will never move on from the middle ages until its people are brought up and educated properly without religion or its dogma.

    Scottish football would be in a far better place without either Celtic or Rangers/Rangers or Celtic. We also wouldn’t have to suffer the unbearable pro OLD FIRM drivel pumped out by the Glasgow based media machine.

    We can only dream…

  90. alan young says:

    How far back does integrity go or this so called cheating , that no one has been found guilty, seems to be irrelevent .

    how about Celtic attendences in the 60s and 70s common kowledge that Celtic lied for financial gain.

    or is this a Rangers only wich hunt

  91. Bee says:

    A lot of comments here by celtic fans trying to separate themselves from rangers. The press hate us they say.
    Have a look at the press coverage when a young Branimir Kostadinov was going to sign for celtic.
    Then look at the press coverage when he chose to sign for Hearts.
    One day he’s the next Pele, the next he was just a gypsy.
    The the ususal celtic comments of its rangers that have a problem with bigots not us. It is only very recently that finally celtic have asked their fans to stop singing certain songs.
    As for refereeing bias… if celtic fans truly believe they don’t benefit from this.. ask one of your ex players.. Andy Walker, he admitted it.

  92. Truth seeker says:

    Jock Stein covered up sex claims to protect his Celtic; Trial told of order from manager.(News)

    Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland); 11/7/1998; McILWRAITH, GORDON

    JOCK Stein and the Celtic board covered up allegations made against Boys’ Club founder Jim Torbett, a court was told yesterday.
    Torbett, who is now accused of abusing three boys while he was at the club, was literally kicked out of Parkhead by Stein, a court heard.
    But when the claims subsequently surfaced, Celtic manager Stein and the directors were anxious to keep the image of the club clean and nothing more was done about them

    1. Tommo1 says:

      I could mention a few “naughties” which were kept under wraps at Ibrox by David Murray. But I won’t, and you know why? Because it’s got nothing whatsoever – unless you’re looking for a smokescreen – to do with Rangers financial behaviour which this page is all about!

  93. george shankill says:

    Reading the comments really makes me think that celtic fans hate rangers more than they love their own club.
    Why in the world if your team is in front in the league ” even though it’s tainted this year with the debacle in scotland ”
    and your team is in 1 cup final and the semis in another would you surf the net looking to comment on your rivals.
    My team Linfield here in belfast is actually the worlds second most successful club and they are who i think about 24/7 not crusaders our big rivals.
    Strange fellows indeed those scots

  94. Davie says:

    Got to laugh at the reaction from the SFA when Alex phoned them, they’d be in shock that a journalist dare be interested in such going ons

    I’m sure they are worried now that it’s not a Scottish based media poodle, but a real journalist…bet the lights are on late at Hampden tonight.

    The only good news for Alex is that his producer will not have him on the carpet tomorrow after getting a “phone call”

  95. Johnny says:

    If it turns out Campbell Ogilvie was complicit, I would like to know whether Hearts will be investigated next? I base that query on the fact that Mr Ogilvie is, at least the last time I was aware of it, in a position of authority at Hearts. If he thought such practices were ok once….

  96. K m says:

    This is directed at the author of this blog the “cosy” relationship with the old firm does not exist the Cosy relationship with the media and rangers does exist and this! Is the problem . The media have been an almost free PR firm for sir David murry for so long the have helped bring all this about , research the phrase “succulent lamb” this should help you understand somewhat

  97. Bruce says:

    Anyway, the latest –

    Rangers supporters and the club have set up an, ahem, fighting fund. Big photocall at Murray Park today, McCoist and Sandy Jardine hold up a placard with payment details.

    Problem is, they’ve put up the wrong PayPal account details so any payments are going to a clown, literally, called Bluenose.


    1. Bogchuff says:

      And they’ve a special hotline for people who work in a su0pervisory capacity.
      At least, that’s what I assume they mean where they’ve wrtiien “for ‘OVERSEES’ transactions call…..”

      1. gerry says:

        Don´t forget the missing apostrophe.

        They need an English teacher to “oversea” their work.

  98. Shirley says:

    Great piece on Rangers tax situation. Most of us non Old-Firm fans have always maintained, but never been able to prove, that the SFA, media and some referees, etc have always favoured, specifically, Rangers. Now we see see the full extent of their cheating over the years. Sadly, it is their own fans they have cheated, not just the taxman.

  99. TheOrganiser says:

    Alex, you have a big problem. How dare you come into Scotland and start asking questions about our football clubs and associations? Do you not realise that we have plenty of experienced and knowledgable journalists who are doing just that? Chick Young, James Traynor and Graham Spiers are just a few names that you have probably heard of during your career. They are completely independent and unbiased in their reporting and present the facts of the current Rangers (in administration) situation. I go to them for all my news. Don’t you know that Rangers (in administration) and Celtic are two sides of the same coin? We know that. We understand how sectarianism has blighted our sport. We already let Catholics play for our clubs. What more do you want us to do? There is nothing for you to see or do here. I think you should just go away. Go on, walk away – don’t you have more important things to report on? In a few months this will have been swept under the carpet and we can all move on. I’d like to invite you up to see a game when this all blows over and you can see for yourself. In the meantime, thankyou for your interest, but everything is under control. Follow on.

  100. Martin Hutchison says:


    It’s really enouraging knowing a reporter of the stature of yourself is taking an interest in this case, it’s something a LOT of people in Scotland have been waiting for for a long time, given that there has been suspicions of ‘over-cosy relationship’ not between the old firm (hopefully soon to be a defunct term) and the SFA, but between Rangers and the SFA.

    That is not just paranoia from a Celtic fan, there have been times where it’s been proved that deciions have been made to the detriment of Celtic (Jorge Cadete registration, Dougie Dougie-gate for example) and therefore to the benefit, whether directly or indirectly, of Rangers.

    It is my belief and that of countless others that there has been corruption and a preference toward the well-being of Rangers by the SFA for decades – not just the period currently under investigation – and i for one am delighted that someone such as yourself is now making a serious effort in uncovering just what is going on in the boardroom at Hampden.

    Thank you Alex and i sincerely hope you get the answers you are looking for.

  101. freskin dundemore says:

    I am disgracefully and shamefully honest.Unlike Martin Hutchison ( today,11.16 a.m) I hope you get the answers I’m looking for!

  102. Brian says:

    Alex -congratulations on taking up this issue direct with the SFA. Their silence on the issue is deafening north of the border and not one of the publications or broadcasters has even given it a line of coverage up here.

    Dig a little deeper behind the Whyte smokescreen at Rangers and you will be astounded at what the David Murray era did financially to Rangers. In full view of a complicit SFA.

    Keep up the good work.

  103. ArPee says:

    What a blowhard you are SOFBTRC, try and keep quiet while adults are speaking, your comments are embarrassing and childish and ever so slightly biased. Anyone can see you have a real bee in your bonnet and HATE both Celtic and Rangers equally, it’s very sad. I don’t hate Rangers or their fans (sorry to but your bubble) but i’m beginning to take a real dislike to Dundee Utd if all thei fans are as empty headed and biased as you appear to be Scottish football has more to concern itself with than just OF fans hating each other.

  104. Willie says:

    As a Rangers fan, I would agree that if we ARE found guilty, which as of yet we haven’t, we should be punished.

    As another poster has mentioned, it is known that Celtic used image rights to pay some players. It doesn’t require much digging around on the internet to find factual information regarding this.

    As you can probably witness Alex, the overwhelming majority of replies to your blog are from Celtic fans. Unfortunately this doesn’t help you in your quest to get a reasonably proportioned perspective from a wide cross section.

    The reasons in my eyes is purely down to their hatred of Rangers. Perhaps with them having to wait 3 years for a title has fuelled their burning desire for Rangers to die at most, or at least to be deducted points every season. This is due to their realisation that both punishments will give them the titles they crave. Their manipulating of the media and football governing bodies to a certain extent helps prove how far they will go.

    Without wanting to touch on the subject too much, I wonder if this hatred stems from their dislike of all things British, a trait that Rangers is strongly associated with. While Rangers have gotten their act together with regards to sectarian chanting, Celtic are still constantly given a platform to sing chants and songs glorifying the death of British soldiers and the cause of the IRA.

    Once again, well done on a non biased blog. If you were planning to look at football in any other light, I would be interested in your writings on sectarianism in Scottish football. You should go to the old firm on March the 25th to witness it first hand. And that is from both sides, not just one or the other.

  105. Davie says:

    Amazing journalism Alex, you should give lessons to our guys…SFA coming clean the day after you phone and ask a pertinent question is amazing to behold up here.

    You should give night classes to “Chick who” and his straight man “it’s questions Jim (traynor) but not as we know them”

    Who would have thought a phone and a direct question would put you in front running for Scottish sports journalist of the year.

    There more there if you dig

  106. PerthSaint says:

    Keep up the good work in getting through relationship that has kept both sides of the old firm at the top of the Scottish game for the last 100 plus years.
    Despite what the clubs say they rely on bigotry and the fans who travel from towns all over Scotland to follow these organisations for that very reason.
    Scottish football would be so much better off if these people followed their local teams.
    The press are far to close to both Celtic and Rangers and I wish my team and the other 9 would turn around to the old firm, Yes YOU ARE THE OLD FIRM and tell them that they are their bigoted supporters are not welcome in the SPL. If you have a look at this forum you will also see that your not welcome in England
    Keep up the good work and hopefully you will get to the bottom of what we all know is going on

    1. Peter says:

      @ PerthSaint … or should that be PerthSinner?

      Because if you truly believe bigotry in Scotland exists within 2 clubs in Glasgow and nowhere else, you are either a liar or else just plain deluded.

      And to suggest Celtic fans travel from towns all over Scotland purely for reasons of bigotry is really quite comical.

      Still, I suppose you have to believe in something.

  107. Peter Kidd says:

    Alex, thank you for your enlighting and professional true journalism that has truly shamed the pretenders and cowards of so called Scottish Journalists.

    What really boggles my mind after following Scottish Football for nearly 45-years is that how can anyone in this country be the slightest bit surprised or shocked at this news. This has been going on not for the past 15-years but decades and decades. The whole system is corrupt from the top down with the Glasgow Mafia fully in control, both Rangers and Celtic.If anyone thinks different your delusional.

    During Scotlands glory years, the 1980’s, the Scottish League was regarded as one of the best in the world. While the ugly sisters were financially weakened and the likes of Rangers were getting 2-3000 per game (so much for the best supporters in the world) the likes of Aberdeen and Dundee United were frequently playing in European Competition, reaching quarter-finals, semi-finals until Aberdeen finally won the European Cup Winners Cup and the European Super Cup, beating Real Madrid and a good Hamburg side,respectively. They become the last and most succesful Scottish side to win European honours and won more than the bigot brothers combined. They were named Best Team in Europe in the 1983-84 season.They also reached the semi-final of the European Cup Winners the following season only to be beat by Porto due to what transpired many years later, to be a corrupt referee. Meanwhile the Scottish National Team were doing well and qualifing for major tournaments. Then came along Souness and his cronies and between both Glasgow Mafia clubs, desimated and destroyed Scottish Football.

    Can Scottish Football be saved? I have my doubts. It took Alex, an outsider to just scratch the surface of what went wrong. It would need the a huge concerted effort from not only the Non Old Firm Clubs but the supporters themselves. I really don’t know if they all have the balls to do it. I expect Rangers will get a slap on the wrist and business as usual, with a little help from their Irish Sisters

    I know one thing, this is a golden opertunity to set things right and get Scottish Football back to where it belongs, without the Old Firm. The 1980’s was proof we don’t need them, don’t want them.Scottish Football will be better without them, so will Scottish Society.

  108. Peter Kidd says:

    SOFBTRC, keep up the good work. I like the cut of your cloth.

  109. Chris says:

    It is becoming apparent that Celtic have done marvelously to win the trophies in the last 15 /20 years.

    Rangers have systematically avoided tax. £49m (possibly rising to as £75m with penalties) in EBTs and £15m in VAT and PAYE

    They still owe £50m (now nearer £70m) to Murray Sports which was money borrowed by Murray from Bank of Scotland, now owned by the tax payer.

    They owe TicketUs £24m which the administrators are trying to stiff them for in court.

    How does that help creditors if TicketUs add £24 m to the pile?

    Point is, on average, Rangers have stolen or cheated their way to an extra £10m per season for 20 years not including Euro money for Champions League & TV they may never have had.

    Celtic have done brilliantly to compete.

  110. Andyb says:

    I’m not Scottish and I hate how football thinks it’s better than the real world whether it north or south of the border. I’d like to see any club who breaks the rules go and I’m sure there must be some players thinking twice about a visit from the taxman.
    Two questions, do football clubs get audited every year and with so many clubs not reporting any true financial accounts, are we in a situation similar to the Eurozone and have lots of little Greeces?

  111. jimmy says:

    I have no doubt Rangers will slip their tax noose and will get a minimum reprimand by the footballing authorities and allowed to continue in the SPL under a new name… Sets the precedent for many more teams to do similar. Losing the country hundreds of millions in lost revenue. Revenue that could ease many a burden. The average man in the street suffers for years because of the folly of the better off.

  112. Escariot says:

    U I have to agree with Chris the real heros in this are the successful Celtic teams over the last 28 years . Remodeling the club and winning the few league championships that they have won, It is now highly competitive and well run business with a future. The real loosers I suspect (apart from the tax payer), are those that look to Scotlands national team for success, as the old Glasgow Ranger choked off home grown development by paying exhorbitent wages to English et al in their purple patch years.No conicidence that the current poor showing at national level correspons to the introduction of Butcher, Stephens and the res and continues.

  113. jim horne says:

    how many times do rangers get punished by all theses different bodies integrity theses bastards
    dont know the meaning of the word if you where told about some of the things clubs done it would take to long

  114. Big Mike says:

    Rangers have been let away lightley so far. They cheated the whole of Scottish football and should have been thrown out.

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  116. Gianmaria Framarin says:

    Celtic fans still talking about Rangers being ‘right wing’ please stop it.
    I won’t defend my club for what happened, I do NOT need to defend Rangers as a club, I’ll always defend my boyhood everlasting love for Rangers. And, as many other Gers fans, I’m no way a right winged man. Just take a look at the polls in Glasgow, then tell me who’s a right wing voter in that city, let alone the rest of Scotland… you Celtic fans are always trying to exploit what A PART of supporters do at Ibrox (and I wouldn’t call that ‘right wing’, it’s just Auld Firm madness) so that you Tims can play the part of the oppressed, ‘truly left wing’, poor victims, rightly angered minority in this ‘Protestant right wing Scotland’ (????????????)
    Same old refrain, I shouldn’t even bother, but please do not offend me and other Gers fans as political subjects. Next time I’ll hear someone say we’re all nazi I’m going to ask for independence. From you, not from the UK, obviously.

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