29 Jan 2013

Why Rangers face a massive re-writing of football club history

By the nature of these things, there will not be any kind of fanfare. It’s not the way of law lords. The Scottish Premier League (SPL) says merely that the room at Hampden is booked through till the end of the week, and that is about it.

Low-key stuff for the stadium setting for a decision at last on what may – or may not – be the biggest cheating scandal in UK football history and, if a guilty decision is returned, beyond question one of the biggest cheating scandals in the history of British sport.

At issue, did the old (pre-liquidation) Rangers FC fail to tell the football authorities all about the money it was paying players as part of an elaborate tax avoidance scheme – a scheme which may yet be found to be illegal if HMRC wins its appeal?

If they did not tell all, then Lord Nimmo Smith and his deputies, Charles Flint QC and Nicholas Stewart QC, can pretty much pass any and every sanction under the sun upon the old club, from expelling them from the league to asking them politely if they wouldn’t mind stop cheating.

Since the old club is liquidated, this is somewhat academic . But it is all laid out in section G6 of the SPL rulebook.

What the trio can very much do – if they find that the authorities were not informed about full payments – is rule that every time any of the players concerned kicked a football in earnest for Rangers, that match is forfeit because that player’s papers were not in order.

This would clearly involve a massive and unprecedented re-writing of club history, re-engraving of a lot of silverware, and Rangers would be saddled with the reputation of being the biggest cheats in football history – in sporting history.

So rather a lot is at stake.

The positive note for fans of Rangers and others, is that the first part of the process is simple and self-contained. The trio of the learned simply hear the arguments and submissions. They go away. They ponder. They judge. They punish. It is the Nimmo Smith independent commission which hands down sanctions upon the old club.

According to the SPL, the club can then appeal, and this would be to the Scottish FA. It would seem on the face of it that the SFA have few options but to go along with the findings of the independent commission, or the independent commission would very soon end up looking not very independent. A reasonable outsider might make that observation. But in the cauldron of Glasgow football, nothing is quite so simple or clear cut.

It’s high-tension stuff. Lord Nimmo Smith has already had to put out a statement pointing out that he is independent and objective. It’s rather like a polar bear pointing out that he’s white and furry. Yet in Glasgow football, such things are deemed necessary in the miasma of suspicion that never lifts far from the Clyde.

Equally Charles Green, the new boss of the new club at Ibrox, has gone out of his way to be rude about the independent commission, telling anybody who wants to listen that Rangers will boycott the entire process and yah boo sucks. Some might observe this is not the most tactically astute approach with regard to a law lord entrusted to investigate case where the lawyers say there is “a case to answer”. But that is a matter for Mr Green.

The independent commission nevertheless extends a welcome to Mr Green or his staff to attend at Hampden Park from today, should they so wish:

“Newco, as the current owner and operator of Rangers FC, although not alleged by the SPL to have committed any breach of SPL rules, will also have the right to appear and be represented at all hearings of the commission and to make such submissions as it thinks fit.”

We do not, of course, know how long it will take the Hampden Three to reach a decision on whether or not Rangers were cheats on a massive or occasional scale, or indeed wholly innocent of the allegations put to them.

But the odds are, it will be less agonising than the apparently unending tax case which continues to hang over the club. And it’s potentially all about titles, cups, championships, history, culture, reputation – the things fans care a hell of a lot more about.

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101 reader comments

  1. colin says:

    you call this the biggest cheating case in britian? Well if you knew all the facts about the EBT case then you would know that rangers was a test case for bigger fish in the premiership. IF HMRC had won the ruling then it would of been open season on the big club in england. If HMRC had won, how many of the big clubs in england would hit the wall as they were upto there eyes in EBT’s as well but on a grander scale than rangers were!

    1. Jacobite says:

      Like us he does.
      Your former Club is & it died
      RFC(IL)
      HMRC are appealing
      Lets hope they are all caught.
      As of yesterday UK Govt put EPL on notice.

      1. Frankie says:

        Jacobite, Rangers did not die. Only the company that used to run the club did.

        As for HMRC, they are seeking permission to appeal.

      2. Bruce says:

        If Rangers, the club, lives on then why is it not in the SPL. As we were often told, there is no mechanism to relegate a club to the third division, so The Rangers, in the third division, cannot be the same club as Rangers.

      3. James Murray says:

        ‘The Rangers’ is the new Plc. There seems to be this myth that the club now playing (badly) in the SFL3 is called ‘The Rangers’, and that the club founded in 1872 is dead. ‘The Rangers’ refers to the Plc, not the club. What died in 2012 was the Plc/company, not the football club.

  2. wilkins' screamer says:

    why should innocent tax-paying rangers fans suffer,because they will suffer,for the actions of some money men,accountants etc?

    would that be justice?

    time for the celtic fans to comment I think.
    mtan

    1. EADougall says:

      Why should innocent tax paying Rangers fans then benefit from the actions of these men?

      Or more importantly, why should innocent tax paying fans of numerous other clubs have suffered, and suffer they did, as a result of the actions of Rangers money men?

  3. Jim Walker says:

    Is this your week off the war zones?

  4. David says:

    You seem to be neglecting to mention the fact that Rangers have already been found not guilty of tax avoidance through the player benefits in the courts, granted pending an appeal by HMRC.

    The so called case to answer was brought by the SFA after the court ruling which backed up Rangers’ claims that the money paid to players was in fact an interest free loan. This is the court case that HMRC are appealing but indications are this appeal will be unsuccessful.

    This apparently is a procedure used not only by Scottish clubs including Rangers great rivals Celtic on occasions but also by English clubs with Arsenal being one of the clubs.

    Basically the main bugbear of the Rangers fans’ is the fact that their club was put into administration and liquidation due to an owner not paying the relative PAYE contributions. If these had been paid when they were due the club would still be in the SPL and trading as the original company albeit with significant debts but none of these debts currently would involve anything associated with HMRC.

    1. Jacobite says:

      Read the report not the headlines! Found guilty on 37 of the 86 cases. RFC(IL) did not contest guilt on Flo & Laudrup EBT. HMRC now appealing on remaining cases. RFC(IL) has a tax liability to pay & did not escape with no tax to pay. RFC(IL) has a tax bill to pay. Get it right!

      1. Pistol pete says:

        Eh, Rangers didn’t use EBT’s in Flo or Laudrups Era, you sad obsessed person.

        Alex is only having a dig as us because he knows that Murray has him in his sights and that 14 Million that Craig Whyte didn’t give HMRC, is going to be small change compaired to the litigation being brought against Alex’s Employers, C4 ….

    2. rabthecab says:

      @David

      “You seem to be neglecting to mention the fact that Rangers have already been found not guilty of tax avoidance through the player benefits in the courts…”

      And you seem to be neglecting to mention the fact that in 5 of the sub-trusts examined the FTT ruled that there was PAYE/NIC due to be paid, and the fact that RFC admitted to liability for the same in 31 others.

      Not guilty? You’r having a laugh

    3. Bruce says:

      ‘but indications are this appeal will be unsuccessful’

      Errr…what indications?

      ‘This apparently is a procedure used not only by Scottish clubs including Rangers great rivals Celtic on occasions but also by English clubs with Arsenal being one of the clubs.’

      On one occasion. And both Celtic and Arsenal agreed with HMRC that EBT’s were disguised remuneration and paid up.

      1. James Murray says:

        Celtic only paid when they were caught out.

  5. Mark Falconer says:

    Utter rubbish – they’re ruling on some ‘administrative errors’. No cheating, no scandal – terrible article.

    1. Jacobite says:

      Wishful thinking.

    2. rabthecab says:

      @Mark Falconer

      ‘administrative errors’? I suggest you read the details of how the EBT scheme was run & how the “loans” were paid; this wasn’t just signing a paycheck using the wrong chequebook.

    3. Bruce says:

      But there is precedent for what happens to clubs in Scotland. Look at Spartans, expelled from the Scottish Cup because a contract had been dated once not twice. Rangers must be treated the same as any other club.

  6. George MacDonald says:

    You mention an HMRC appeal. Can I ask you, as a journalist, if you can maybe find out the answer to this:

    Have HMRC appealed?

    We know they had requested to appeal the decision. But who did they send the request to? And were they granted permission to appeal?

    As yet, I have only heard that HMRC had requested permission to appeal, not that they actually were granted permission and certainly not that they HAVE actually appealed.

    And the deadline to appeal the NOT GUILTY verdict was on December 24th 2012. Which would mean if persmission to appeal was not granted by then, they have ran out of time to appeal.

    Could you use your “contacts” to clarify this please.

    Thanks.

    1. Jacobite says:

      They have appealed within the deadline & the clock is ticking once again. BOOM!

  7. Charlie Banham says:

    What is all the fuss about Mr Green & Mr McCoist – this much needed and very necessary INDEPENDENT tribunal must be left to do it’s job – and that is get to the truth! It in no way affects THE RFC, only the OLD Liquidated Club!
    I surmise that Geen & McCoist are upset because Charlie G bought the history and that includes trophys and of course he did buy them fair and square.
    BUT if the tribunal find the oldco guilty of cheating (nothing to do with tax) it’s way to titles & triophies, then some of the trophies that Green bought, were, in effect not legitimately owned by Old Co Rangers, and could now be seen as Stolen Goods – even though Green may not have been aware that the legitimacy of the original ownership was in question.

    Surely, law abiding lol! Rangers Fans New & Old, Charles Green & Ally McCoist would not want to hold onto property that could yet be proven to be the proceeds of offences under SPL
    rules & Regulations?
    After all, those shining pillars of integrity lol! would not want their impeccable reputations tainted by refusing (should the verdict be GUILTY)to hand them back ?
    Surely Not?

    1. Frankie says:

      Companies are the things that get liquidated. The club goes on, run by a new company (or “newco”).

      As for the SPL tribunal, the bigger picture is that the football authorities were told every year about the money concerned. It was in the published accounts of the company that used to run the club and these were submitted to the football authorities. This is not a question of hidden, under-the-table dealings. What the technicalities turn out to be is another matter. I really don’t know how that will go and I doubt if anyone else on here really knows either.

    2. Jacobite says:

      Oh, I think the defiant will contest this! I mean all those stupid tattoos with the diddy stars on the arms, foreheads etc…

    3. James Murray says:

      The club wasnt liquidated though, the Plc was.

  8. General Zod says:

    Lovely stuff Alex. You know your onions. Mr Green might be talking about his apples but, if Lord Nimmo Smith has his way, will probably come up with Lemons. As for Oranges – lets not even go there.

  9. Christopher Orr says:

    Bitter man. New company, same Rangers fc. All history intact. Biggest crowds in scotland.

    1. alfredthepict says:

      Wrong on every count olsd son !

    2. Steff says:

      See when people say “Rangers are not a new club – they changed holding companies” – I don’t know whether to laugh at them or pity them.

      Because you have been fed this lie (and it is a lie – Rangers FC’s holding company was Craig Whyte’s Wavetower, prior to that it was Murray International Holdings) and because it’s what you want to hear you cling to it with all your might and if anyone challenges it they they must, of course, be a bigot or a Rangers hater.

      The SFA have done you a great disservice by allowing this lie to be facilitated – because one day when the penny drops – and it will – then there will be a lot of angry and bewildered bears. Mind you there’s plenty today.

      Semantics, misrepresentation and some downright lies have been put to Rangers supporters to facilitate their minds whilst Rangers Football Club went bust. But it will only come back to haunt you. The more you cling on to a lie, the harder it will hit you when the truth is finally revealed.

      Truth is – Rangers Football Club ceased to exist – otherwise it would still be in the SPL.

      Truth is – Charles Green admitted prior to liquidation that if a CVA didn’t go through, then a newco would have to take it’s place from scratch.

      Truth is – He has been allowed to backtrack on that in order to plant lies into the minds of Rangers fans but not because he cares about history or titles – he wanted to sell shares.

      Truth is – Sevco got SFA membership then quickly changed its name to The Rangers – can you see what’s happening bears?

      Truth is – The new club cannot play in Europe because it does not have 3 years trading accounts? Have a look in Charles Green’s Rangers International Football Club Prospectus – it’s in there.

      Truth is – Charles Green is stringing you like a banjo – and the biggest, most decorated, world record biggest shower of gullible supporters in the entire universe have fell for it hook, line and sinker because they just love being told what they want to hear.

      Only Rangers fans would have the gall and the brass neck to come up with the notion that you could divide your entity into two parts and let the debt go one way and let the titles go the other.

      Charles Green’s Rangers have never won a single trophy.

      This enquiry by Lord Nimmo Smith is about the old Rangers. The one that owed millions to the taxpayer. The one that went bust.

      Not Charles Green’s Rangers.

      1. naefear says:

        Give it up silly man!!!

        The ECA is the sole independent body recognised by UEFA and FIFA as representing clubs at European level. Ordinary members of the group are required to be playing in their domestic top division and be licensed to play European football.

        “Taking into account that the ‘new entity’ also acquired the goodwill of the ‘old entity’, it was held by the ECA executive board that the goodwill, taking into account legal and practical arguments, also included the history of the ‘old company’.
        “Consequently it was concluded that Rangers FC was entitled to associated membership of ECA as considered to be a founding member.”

        This is all that matters, no debate! Then,now,forever!!! Rangers 1872.

      2. rabthecab says:

        @naefear

        “The ECA is the sole independent body recognised by UEFA and FIFA as representing clubs at European level.”

        The ECA is the equivalent of a Trade Union/Association; nothing more, nothing less.

        Many moons ago I was “invited” to join the Guild of Master Craftsmen, which meant I could use their logo on my stationery etc & would undoubtedly help when tendering for work. The only drawback? Way back then it cost £500 a year. The ECA is just the same.

      3. Dave says:

        Well worded Steff. I couldn’t have worded that article better myself. True, realistic, and honest. Rangers should just take responsibility admit there faults and move on.. End…

    3. Carntyne says:

      Enjoying the 3rd division?

      Same again next year.

    4. Bruce says:

      As I said earlier… Rangers disappeared from the SPL only because they went bust – they were not expelled or relegated. Therefore, if the club has some kind of independent existence, it was not, and never has been, a member of the SPL. So, even if the club lives on, the history doesn’t – it cannot have won titles when it was a member of the league. The ‘oldco’ was a member of the league and won titles – but its history and trophy count ended when it went bust.

      1. Bruce says:

        Oooops. A significant typo there.

        ‘So, even if the club lives on, the history doesn’t – it cannot have won titles when it was a member of the league.’ Should read …. when it was not a member of the league.

  10. David Walker says:

    More lazy writing Mr Thomson, anyone with the most basic of knowlege on the Rangers saga could have put that out…glorified blogger

  11. Gerald McLaughlin says:

    Meanwhile up in the Ivory towers the main character still sits relatively blameless while the patsy brought in to take the fall has to flee the country of his birth.And still nothing from the Scottish MSM . They fail to report that New club playing at Ibrox is running at a loss but continue to pedal the lie of the super stadium Casino an all.

    1. Carntyne says:

      The desperation of trying to sell Rangers stadium naming rights for £2.5mill says it all.

      Skint!

      Skint!

      Skint!

  12. Kenny says:

    Lord Nimmo Smiths enquiry into the EBT scheme ran by the club between 2001 and 2010 will NOT result in trophies leaving the Ibrox trophy cabinet.

    Although Rangers may yet be found guilty of a failing to correctly register players contracts with the SPL sources close to the early part of the enquiry have confirmed that there is NO prospect of ANY of our world record 54 league titles being wiped from the record books.

    This news will come as a welcome relief to millions of Rangers fans across the globe but perhaps more importantly it will finally shut up the anonymous Rangers hating bloggers who have set up a vile campaign to discredit our club and its honours.

    A recent UEFA directive passed to member associations and affiliated leagues which dealt with punishments for administrative errors in the game.

    Earlier this year Belarusian side Slavia-Mozyr took their national association to the CAS after being docked points in the league as one of their players (Lithuanian midfielder Dmitry Navikas) had not had his contract properly logged with the Football Federation of Belarus. The players contract, rather comically, was ten years out of date due to an administrative error which printed the wrong dates on his contract and the clubs was handed 3-0 defeats for the three league matches he participated in.

    Once the case went to the CAS it found in Mozyr’s favour and following this the memorandum went out by UEFA to advise that the precedent was now set and administrative errors should be dealt with in such a way that the punishment should not encroach as far as results fought for and gained fairly on the field of play.

    The first evidence of this new directive coming into play was when the FA ripped up their own rule book to allow Bradford back into the FA Cup despite fielding a illegible player in their tie against Brentford (http://soccernet.espn.go.com/news/story/_/id/1261356/bradford-city-reinstated-into-fa-cup-after-appeal?cc=5739)

    1. alfredthepict says:

      And you also believe in Santa Clause !

    2. Lord Smith says:

      Having viewed the evidence that Kenny has brought before me, and after much deliberation, I conclude that these points are irrelevant with no bearing on this case. I must declare that I was first alerted to the delusions of this man by his quote, ” a relief to millions of Rangers fans across the globe”, Two points, (1) millions?, Really!, But I must thank Kenny for highlighting the stress being felt by these, ahem, millions. (2) Rangers are no longer in existance, but a team with a similar title play in division 3 which appears to have caused some confusion.. I find the offences the accused have been indicted on to be of a very serious nature, and second only to tch rigging. The evidence is overwhelming that the accused, who have failed to appear before me are Guilty. The sentencing for such matters is fairly straight forward as laid out by SFA guidelines. All titles and trophies collected during this period will be forfeit. All prize money shall be forfeit. As part of the 5 way agreement entered into, to secure a playing license, and in view that this prize money, is in fact, a football related debt, repayment of said prize money is the responsibility of Sevco. Please summon them to appear before me to arrange payment. Thank you ladies and gentlemen of the court.

  13. Simon says:

    Your views have been single minded anti Rangers which doesn’t surprise me when you are associated with people tarred with a sectarian brush.

    This article is laughable – the biggest cheats in sporting history , quite remarkable really that of two clubs that administered EBT’s only one club faces charges.

    Who did the initial investigation – Harper McLeod oh wait a minute do they not represent the other team that ran an EBT. If you want to be regarded as a fair journalist then you should get out there ask the correct questions and stop listening to your pals from Donegal!

    1. alfredthepict says:

      bitter orange anyone ?

  14. Mal says:

    It should be fairly straight forward – if Rangers did have a undisclosed contract with their players then they guilty of not informing the SPL of the contract, therefore the title that they one should be removed.

    It is pretty clear, in the SPL rules, that if there is an undisclosed contract and the accused team are fielding that player then that team will be disqualified.

    If it were any other team then this would have been completed months ago.

    Lets hope this gets sorted out smoothly with limited nonsense from all sides (whatever the outcome).

    1. Random says:

      Mal,

      You’re trying to your hardest to come across as one of the intelligensia but you haven’t one this one unfortunately. All you have done is added your name to the roll of shame that belongs to all bitter celtic fans.

      1. Bruce says:

        Roll of shame? Your club went bust owing more than £50 million. It operated a century long sectarian signing policy. Its supporters threaten, intimidate and viciously attack the personnel of other clubs. Its supporters rioted in Manchester and Barcelona – real riots, not just a bit of crowd trouble. And there’s somehow a ‘roll of shame’ for Celtic fans? Wow.

      2. Mal says:

        Random 29-Jan-13 at

        “Mal,
        You’re trying to your hardest to come across as one of the intelligensia but you haven’t one this one unfortunately. All you have done is added your name to the roll of shame that belongs to all bitter celtic fans.”

        WRONG, FAIL!!!!!

        I’m not a Celtic or Rangers fan – never have been, never will be. I’m a sports fan that enjoys may sports. I have been following the story from all sides and tried to be as impartial as possible. This is what I believe and you’ve just assumed because I thought rangers should be punished. Typical, single minded thinking of some die-hard fan. I’ve no problems with yourself – in fact I can sympathize with you. Your team is been through a lot lately. But IF a team is caught cheating then they deserve to be punished.

        Simple as that!!!

  15. Mal says:

    It should be fairly straight forward – if Rangers did have a undisclosed contract with their players then they guilty of not informing the SPL of the contract, therefore the titles that they won should be removed.

    It is pretty clear, in the SPL rules, that if there is an undisclosed contract and the accused team are fielding that player then that team will be disqualified.

    If it were any other team then this would have been completed months ago.

    Lets hope this gets sorted out smoothly with limited nonsense from all sides (whatever the outcome).

  16. SpursForEver says:

    “what may – or may not – be the biggest cheating scandal in UK football history” – “whether or not Rangers were cheats on a massive or occasional scale” – all emotive stuff, but they are not accused of cheating football, rather they are accused of not keeping to the financial regulations. You make it sound as though they played with 12 men or bribed the opposition and this is a far cry that.

    1. Tony Kenny says:

      Many times they did indeed play with 12 men however there is no written evidence, facts or figures to prove that particular fact. Only the evidence of our eyes.

  17. Stewart says:

    What a poorly written article, I take it the writer actually claims to know his football. First off Rangers are not a new Club but changed holding companies as stated in fact by in governing bodies in Europe. Clearly not one player cheated on the park with results all won fairly on the pitch. Did the writer miss the 2006 Italian football scandal involving players, Managers, Directors and Officials rigging results on a scale not seen before in world football. Not to mention the Financial Scandal of clubs useing cross-trading (or player exchange) to enhance their financial gains to avoid re-capitalization.

    Funny Juventus and the rest like AC Milan even after absurd Cheating on the pitch that had a massive effect on European Football are no further worse off. Typical Media blowing up a non story.

    1. jaydot64 says:

      So lets get this straight, you say its the same club. The old club was in administration, and was still in administration when the new season started. So they (the same club) began this season without a ten point penalty, even although they were in administration. Something funny going on here. Either that, or like all other Sevco fans, YOU’RE BURYING YOUR HEAD IN THE SAND!

      New Club, same religious bigotry.

    2. Bruce says:

      ‘as stated in fact by in governing bodies in Europe’. No governing body in Europe has stated any such thing.

  18. jim says:

    What an obsessive idiot,,have you nothing else to fill your time in with,,,the business may have liquidated,,but the club will always be the great Glasgow Rangers,,like you say its only what the fans think that really matters,so sod off ya bigot!!

  19. Chaloch says:

    From most of AT’s commentary on this story I get the feeling he will be volunteering to do any necessary re-engraving for free himself. Having read his preface to ‘Downfall’ his almost desparation to see Rangers found guilty is not one would expect of a journalist of his reputation. They say bad compnay ruins good morals.

    1. Frankie says:

      Chaloch 29-Jan-13

      “They say bad compnay(sic) ruins good morals.”
      You have just summed up The Rangers’ situation.

  20. Paul says:

    If Old Rangers lose, how can they appeal? The company has been liquidated. Can someone else appeal on their behalf?

  21. david wallace says:

    Mr Thomson, You mention that the ftt is still hanging over our head. I can only assume you mean that hmrc have asked for leave to appeal,which can only be done on points of law contained within the original document of the NOT GUILTY verdict Handed down.. What you failed to add is that this appeal has a time limit which is fast approaching. Your subliminal messages contained within your article are pathetic,but that is your style of writing. This i first noticed when you were on your way to the Blood diamond verdict and managed to incorporate Ally McCoist and a war criminal within the same report. In fact you done something that i thought was impossible you managed to evoke some sympathy for Kelvin McKenzie. Contrary to what you think, you are not part of the cure you are part of the disease.

  22. Naefear says:

    Biggest cheats ever? Please, Alex, for your sake, stop with the rhetoric. It’s not doing you or the facts of this case any good.

  23. Martin says:

    Make no mistake, if oldco Rangers are found guilty of undeclared contracts (just to point out, Celtic’s EBT was declared) then SPL rules state that title stripping is a consequence, not a punishment. That is a fact. Precedent uses from other leagues are perhaps useful but certainly do not bind the Scottish authorities from implimenting their own rules. Try looking at the case of Spatans a few years ago for guidance.
    Also, those who claim that the Rangers of 2013 is the same club which started over 100 years ago, perhaps the debts which liquidated Rangers could now be repaid? As a taxpayer I would like to see Ibrox and Murraypark sold off for nearer there true worth and not the paultry sum which Mr Green paid.

    1. Frankie says:

      Celtic’s EBT was not declared at the time.

      As for the tiresome “consequence not a punishment” routine, it’s nonsense. Title-stripping is one of a range of possible punishments if the tribunal finds against Rangers.

      Turning to the debts, they belong to the company which formerly ran Rangers (the “oldco”). Incidentally, debts are also cast aside when a CVA is agreed. It’s how company law works and if anyone genuinely doesn’t like it I suggest they complain to the government. As for the supposed “true worth” of Ibrox etc, if you’re really concerned contact the liquidators of the oldco. But remember that valuations given in accounts etc are not market prices but replacement costs.

    2. Angus Bruce says:

      Martin,

      Sorry to burst the bubble that you obviously live in but Celtic never declared their EBTs to the SPL or the SFA. The EBT to Juniniho was a pay off and was paid out with his contract.

      When the “proverbial” hit the fan, Celtic decided they would pay the tax on this undisclosed sum. I shall repeat “A payment that was made to a player that was not declared to the SPL”

  24. steve young says:

    Mr.Thomson’s views on Rangers are on par with Kelvin MacKenzie’s views on Liverpool Football Club in 1989. Clearly, Thomson is hellbent on distroying RFC and his amateur reporting is all for the glorification of his career. Channel 4, like the SFA, must be in a dire state to let this hack sound off as though he had a fair view on the civil war that is present day Scottish football. “Sporting integrity” has been thrown around for almost year now as a punchline,but the joke has been “journalistic integrity” more so. Thomson’s credibility, like a dying, age old sitcom,must be seen as a running gag amongst his peers. Time to cancel that show.

    1. Aldo says:

      if you check UEFA website team rankings, you’ll find that although Rangers are listed around 88th position, if you try to click on the name to see the club history you will find none exists.
      This only happens on the names of liquidated clubs. Try it and see.
      Kinda dents the claim that UEFA say their the same club as UEFA not creditting them with any history.
      BTW, the FTTT didnt find gers NOT GUILTY (media claim), they found them not as guilty as originally assesed. 35/120 EBT’s ruled as illegal undisclosed payments involving players & staff.
      Undisclosed to club auditors (not in the accounts possibly?)
      Undisclosed to SFA.
      Undisclosed to SPL.
      FTTT would appear to have strengthened the SPL case rather than weakened it.

      1. naefear says:

        Don’t be so silly, click on any club in England or Scotland not in the top devision and it is the same!!! explain that????

  25. Debra Fergus says:

    Alex is obviously fishing,there is no “new club”,Rangers recieved a transfer of their original license which confirmed them as the same club as acknowledged by UEFA,the SFA,SFL and more recently by the Eurpoean Club Assoc. On another point 18 sanctions are available strange why only one is ever discussed in the media.

    1. Steff says:

      “there is no “new club”,Rangers recieved a transfer of their original license which confirmed them as the same club as acknowledged by UEFA,the SFA,SFL”

      Debra, who are you trying to kid here? Yourself?

      Only a club can hold SFA membership – therefore if “the club” is the same – who did it transfer the membership to? And why would a club transfer a membership to itself? Eh?

      The transfer of membership allowed Sevco into the league without 3 years accounts. However that doesn’t fool UEFA who won’t allow the new club to play in Europe because it doesn’t have 3 years accounts.

      The SFA have never confirmed what you want to hear – in fact when asked on camera, Stewart Regan refused to be drawn on the issue. Although that only proves he was gutless.

      As for the SFL – well who cares really. Ballantyne and Longmuir have been given a free reign to say what they want and it’s pretty much expected.

      Oh but you forgot to mention FIFA – the top table, the heid honchos:

      “Rangers go under
      14 June
      Rangers’ perilous financial position had been an open secret but there was still shock when, after 140 years of history and a world record 54 league titles, the club was consigned to liquidation in mid-June. “

    2. Lord Smith says:

      Dear Debra of the llovely surname. I regret to inform you that if Rangers, and the club known as The Rangers are not the same club. That is why the license was transferred from one club to the other. The key word being transferred. The Rangers began playing in the Scottish 3rd division on this license. Meanwhile Rangers were currently in administration and awaiting liquidation. Are you suggesting that two clubs can , in effect , share a license. Are you suggesting that, The Rangers should have begun the season with a 10 point deduction, as is mandatory for a team in administration. or do you concede that what we are talking about, is in fact, two seperate entities. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, as you seem a delightful girl, but you really should not listen to those bad boys. They will say anything to get their own way.

      1. Frankie says:

        If you’re talking about the SFA membership, Rangers have the same one the club has always had, for about 140 years. It was held by the old company and ownership of it was transferred to the new company, after SFA approval. The club is the same.

        As for talk of a 10-point deduction at the beginning of this season, it’s absolute nonsense. The company running the club at the start of the season was not in administration.

    3. Auldheid says:

      Rangers are not operating under a UEFA Licence, the are operating under a Natioanl Club Licence the one applicable to SFL clubs. They were granted this licence in spite of failing the 3 year accounts financial criteria because National Club Licencing allowed the SFA under the relevant rules to use discretion in granting a licence. Had they got SPL entry UEFA Licencing would have applied and the SFA would have to have asked UEFA to make an exception to the 3 year rule. Whilst the SFA were prepared to grant a National Licence rather than lose Rangers UEFA would not have done so and put their competition at risk.

      A business case was put to SFA instead of 3 years accounts and given The Rangers defauting in the SFL would be a lot less serious than if they did in the SPL or UEFA competition, the SFA took the risk and granted a licence. They could have refused but did not.

      As regards SFA membership which is a different matter entirely from a locence again the SFA had discretion to grant The Rangers membership as they became an Associate Member of the SFL. In return for that discretion the SFA placed a number of conditions with particular regard to paying football debt which form part of the 5 way agreement.

      The ECA are not a football governing body and UEFA who are, left the membership issue with the SFA but would never have granted a licence in the absence of 3 years accounts for a pocket full of mumbles such are promises .

    4. Sandy, Paisley says:

      Just one question Debra (from a St Mirren fan, in case you’re wondering.) If it’s the same club, why would the licence (or license, as you call it) have to be transferred? You wouldn’t contact the DVLA to transfer ownership of your own car to yourself; it’s already yours.

      I’m not trolling, it’s a serious question, honest!

    5. Bruce says:

      ‘Rangers recieved a transfer of their original license which confirmed them as the same club as acknowledged by UEFA,the SFA,SFL and more recently by the Eurpoean Club Assoc.’

      It wasn’t ‘their original license’. UEFA and the SFA have not acknowledged its the same club. Indeed, the has had many opportunities to publicly state this and has not. The ECA is a lobbying group, not a governing body.

  26. Dhougal says:

    Great piece Alex ,as you can see, as a Neutral,what we Celtic fans are up against,the bile and viciousness of the ”deadybears” .The zombies have arisen and we should ALL be aware of what they’re capable off .Strip titles !!!!!!!!!!..at your own peril ………..is the message being put out there by the MSM ……..thank god for the fighters of truth like yersel and Paul,Eco,67 etc etc

  27. Don says:

    We already have ample evidence of RFC and cheating.
    200 plus companies and individuals cheated out of tens of millions of pounds, including the Taxman who will not go away until he get’s what due.
    Add to that the circus act that is Charles Green who continues to tell bare faced lies..Like… yes “we have paid our football debts”…While Rapid Vienna and others continue even now to seek recourse on the monies they are owed, or his latest peice of farce on the day their biggest rivals (Celtic) sign an Aussie, Mr Green says talks have taken place about linking up with Austrailian club, Central Coast Mariners… They claim there has been no discussion and it will not happen. Lies lies and more lies. Regardless of what gers fans think and believe, the world of football outside the Ibrox family will know RFC as cheats, that part of their history will never die! And most fans of Scottish clubs will never let then forget.

  28. Phallex Homtson says:

    Cluless article. When you say did Rangers declare “payments” you are completely WRONG. The FTTT stated they were not emoluments and therefore non-contractual and should be referred to as loans. A loan is NOT a payment. THE SPL commisiion should meet & dismiss itself. If you don’t believe me go to your bank and ask for a £20k “payment” please NOT a loan!!! They would chase you. Case dismissed m’lud. As for cheating? It is ludicrous! Ask Arsenal if THEY were cheating or the FA or the Premiership when they used off-shore tax efficient schemes & won many trophies. . Why haven’t you asked about this Alex? Any title stripping for Aresnal? Could it be because there is no sectarian issue in English football but up here the anti-Rangers agenda is driven by it.

  29. Ali Thomson says:

    This is the last I will ever read by this so called journalist. He is so obviously filled by hatred of rangers and consequently appears as a bigot. I will also think twice before having anything to do with c4 if they continue to sponsor this vindictive little man

  30. John says:

    Arrogance & ostrich syndrome are the leading causes of depression in the Scottish ‘bear’ population. Still waiting on 1 post that clearly outlines rfc’s ‘punishments’ rather than consequence of previous owners, directors mismanagement? Alex, do you encounter similar mindsets in the war torn regions you cover? Fanatical followers who point blank refuse to see any other viewpoint but their own? Keep safe & keep digging Alex!

  31. del says:

    Alex Elvis fans go out and watch tribute acts,some are bad some are good but no matter how good they are they will never be Elvis he died.These fans of this new club need to accept liquidation means their dead .The old club lied and cheated their way to titles, justice means they should be stripped of all the trophies they won due to an unfair advantage they had over the rest of Scottish football. p.s. rangers have left the building

    1. Frankie says:

      And still ill-informed fans of other teams obsess over a club they claim is dead.

  32. Tom Park says:

    Mr Thomson

    You could be on the point of commiting libel, you could find yourself before one of those judges whom you would dearly love to condem Rangers.

    You state….Rangers would be saddled with the reputation of being the biggest cheats in football history – in sporting history.

    By cheating are you accusing those players who won those trophies and titles on the field of play of being cheats and among the biggest cheats in football history or are accusing some man in a suit behind a desk?

    If I happened to be one of those players who proudly played and won trophies honestly and I was reading this drivel of a blog, I think I’d be contacting my lawyers to ask you to explain yourself

  33. James Murray says:

    I find it astonishing that one of the country’s supposedly premier journalists (Mr Thomson), does not understand the very simple fact that Rangers Football Club were NOT liquidated in 2012, what was liquidated was the company that ran Rangers, ran their financial affairs. Rangers Plc was liquidated, NOT the famous old football club.

    Surely an Oxford graduate is bright enough to understand that you cannot liquidate a football club, you can only liquidate a company?.

    Apparently not.

    1. Bruce says:

      Surely you are bright enough to understand that the football club incorporated into a company? The company became its legal form. It meant that the club and the company were one and the same. There was a holding company but it wasn’t the holding company that went into liquidation. It was the company/club that it ran that was put into liquidation.

      1. James Murray says:

        Nope.

        Lord Glennie’s judicial review last year at the High Court in Edinburgh made it clear that the football club and the Plc/holding company/company were and are two seperate entities.

        ‘“This is a petition for judicial review by the Rangers Football Club plc, a company presently in administration. That company presently operates Rangers Football Club (to whom I shall refer as “Rangers”).’

        http://www.scotcourts.gov.uk/opinions/2012CSOH%2095.html

  34. Brian says:

    You have to laugh at the Sevco 5088 fans. It was the company who went into liquidation not the club. Without the company there is no club. I would be glad to see there ill gotten gains stripped if its proven that they did wrong. By stating this I don’t care what happens to the trophies whether they go to Celtic or charity. Cheats are cheats at the end of the day look what happened to Lance Armstrong when he got caught cheating. Rangers fans need to stop blaming everyone and there dog. They needn’t look no further than Murray he ruined the club trying to emulate Celtic F.C. The first club in Britain to win the European cup. Sevco 5088 fans weren’t moaning when chasing the dream now it has come back to bite them they are just paranoid. Not many people in Scottish football should listen to Green or Sally Moist as they no longer have a place at the big boys table. They should just realise they are Scotland’s newest club and be grateful to everyone involved in Scottish football for letting them back into the Scottish game. The boycott of Dundee united is just sour grapes. It would be every Celtic fans dream to see the Sevco 5088 fans bhoycott Paradise for life and not just one game. Well done Alex good investigative journalism kepp up the good work. It’s good to see you back on the trail of the cheats and beggars of Scottish football plying their trade in the fourth tier of Scottish football.

  35. Andy says:

    YAAAWWWWNNN!!!! Will you have to repay all your wages from Channel 4 when Rangers are found NOT GUILTY? After all you will have been paid under false pretences would you not, given everything you have claimed so far has been found to be FALSE?

  36. Aaron says:

    Where’s your source from Mr. Thomson?

    Funny feeling you’ve visited the boardroom of Celtic F.C one to many times my friend.

    Not one article in any paper nor on any news channel bar your own. That itself to me, is a bigger conspiracy than my club being ‘cheats’ and whatever else you decided to lie about.

    1. Bruce says:

      I doubt he’s ever visited the boardroom of Celtic.

  37. Jim Graham says:

    Augh away and boil yer heed

  38. AntoniousF says:

    ‘Administrative errors’ – Dear god. is that what The oldco/newco/sevco/RFC/TRFC fans are calling it.

    Personally, I blame the secretary for mistaking the shredder for a post box.

    I am sure Mr Ogilvie can clear this ‘administrative error’ up in a jiffy. He done such a great job at ibrox, that he got promoted to Hampden, after all.

    1. Frankie says:

      As it happens, after Rangers, Mr Ogilvie was at another club for some years.

  39. Bawsman says:

    It astounds me how ignorant your average Rangers/Sevco fans actually is on almost ALL aspects of their troubles.

    You want to be Rangers, no problem, pay your tax and other creditors. If not shut up and suck it up. Your New Club was shoe-horned (against the rules) into the SFL, at least say sorry, then thanks to all the other clubs for allowing you to exist.

  40. George MacDonald says:

    Still no answer to my question.

    HAVE HMRC APPEALED THE NOT GUILTY VERDICT?

    We know they asked for permission to appeal.

    BUT HAVE THEY APPEALED?

    With all the contacts seemingly available within HMRC could you as a journalist not source one and ask them if they were given permission to appeal before the deadline on 24th December?

    And get back to us with your findings.

    Many thanks.

    1. rabthecab says:

      @George MacDonald

      ” ask them if they were given permission to appeal before the deadline on 24th December?”

      You have totally misconstrued the process – the only deadline is for HMRC to seek permission to appeal; as long as their request went in on time, there is no time limit whatsoever for the FTT to say aye or nay.

      You don’t think Messrs Mure & Rae & Ms Poon are sequestered in a hotel somewhere waiting to respond do you? They have professional & family lives outside the Tribunal to be getting on with.

      1. George MacDonald says:

        @rabthecab

        No I haven’t missconstrued the process. I don’t know the process.

        Infact, I probably know the process as much as you do. Which is diddly squat apart from tripe we read on the internet.

        Hence why I am asking such a learned journalist as Mr Thomson with all the contacts he clearly has within HMRC and all to do with the event’s and pursuers of Rangers.

        Of course I am not naive enought to think the panel are sitting waiting for a reply. That is an extremely silly thing to say.

        It is a worthwhile series of questions to ask.

        Who do they ask for the permission to appeal?

        Is it their bosses or the tribunal or a court?

        And who do they actually appeal to?

        Again, is it their bosses or the tribunal or a court?

        Now of course the panel on the tribunal will be away doing other things, not idly sitting around waiting for an appeal.

        But if the appeal has to go to the tribunal or a court or such then the deadline has been missed. The deadline to appeal was on the 24th December.

        If merely asking permission to appeal is indeed appealing, then why the need to ask to appeal?

        Simple questions that Mr Thomson refuses to answer directly yet he has my email address.

    2. Bruce says:

      A question – as it is an internal HMRC tribunal, would the internal application for permission to appeal not actually be all that’s required to set the ball rolling. If the deadline for action had passed, ending the process I suspect the MSM would, for once, have been trumpeting that fact.

  41. Frankie7 says:

    Chaloch 29-Jan-13

    “They say bad compnay(sic) ruins good morals.”
    You have just summed up The Rangers’ situation.

    I should have used a different name since I am not the other deluded Frankie in some of the above posts

  42. P4arky says:

    This drivel is so lacking in accuracy it beggars (no offence Timothy). How an experienced journalist can post so many inaccuracies should shame C4 and the industry in which he plys his trade. The article cannot hide his hatred for Rangers and is the last grasp of desparation for this tired old hack. His comments and hounding of Rangers is becoming very tiresome!

  43. John says:

    Some of the comments on here are really quite ridiculous! If some of the more restrained and coherant posters out there could reasonably debate some simple issues I would love to hear back on these points?

    1 .Why is it no one will ask CG to explain his no cva no history quotes, easily found on youtube, against his more recent “then,now forever quotes?
    2. Why can no rfc fan can put forward any reasonable explanation as to why their current predicament was caused by punishments and not consequence?
    3. If LNS finds against rfc(il), will CO be pushed before he can jump and is that the end of his administrative career?
    4. If LNS finds agains rfc(il), why would CG have any real complaints?
    4i. As he so often repeats he “bought those titles” and if they are deemend ot have been gotten fraudulantly by the previous owner then, THEY had no right to ‘sell’ them to him in the first place?
    5(and final). If a national newspaper starter to print the truth about rfc/sevco/CG/DM/ticketus/BPH/CW/SFA/SPL/CO etc etc and gave honest, un-biased opinion, how many of you would return to buying it?

    I am living in Melbourne, Australia, and feel somewhat removed from all the goings on in this case, however, I can’t help but feel very afraid about CG intentions to the new Rangers! I know the fans feel like they have been through hades and back, but surely some must sit and watch this man and see through his charade? Many of my friends are Rangers fans and I love the games we had against them and the great rivalry and I am in no way a rangers hater, but I am most certainly a Charles Green doubter. Anyway, just watched the Celtic v Kilmarnock game online and very happy, great to see you are not ‘walking away’ from this story Alex, a spotlight must be shone on all that has transpired and everyone should be thankfull that we have you to keep asking the questions!! Keep safe and thanks agian

    John ;-)

  44. NelsonRFC82 says:

    Re your comment: “Rangers would be saddled with the reputation of being the biggest cheats in football history – in sporting history.”

    Can you tell me exactly what advantage Rangers gained by breaking the rules they are alleged to have broken?

    1. del says:

      Il tell you exactly Nelson ,non payment of taxes meant the old rfc had an unfair advantage over the rest of Scottish clubs. Yous got caught and now its everyone elses fault “not” your club died and now Celtic are the only club to have played in Scotlands top flight since the very beggining.One day the new rfc might make 125years of unbroken history

  45. Frank McLaughlin says:

    Alex asks questions that all Scottish reporters should have been asking and has received nothing but hatred and bile from one half of Glasgows football fraternity. Hugh Keevins stated that it wasn’t his job???? Not bad from a football reporter. Because Alex can view it from an outsider and give un unbiased opinion, the mob from Ibrox decide he is a Rangers hater. If these supporters had listened to what they were being told, then a lot of this pain could have been avoided. The decision to remove titles has been reached and the supporters of the dead club aren’t going to be happy.

  46. alan says:

    why blame the companeis,get after the men that took these decisions,but of course i forgot big business boys club,the only people that benifit are the lawyers

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