Regan and SFA deserve credit

Since Stewart Regan’s letter to the 93 SFA member clubs was uncovered by STV yesterday evening I’ve read what feels to me like unfounded concern at the news.  Regan asked clubs to declare “any written agreement(s) falling within the scope of Article 12.3 which has/have not previously been lodged with the Scottish FA in the previous ten years, in respect of any current or former players of your club.”

The most pleasing point is that the letter was dated 9 March.   A look at the chronology of events is perhaps useful.

Rangers troubles with HMRC have been public knowledge since 2010 but it was only on 22 February this year that questions were first raised (here, of course) as to whether the club registered the Employee Benefit Trust (EBT) payments with the SFA.  Everyone knew Rangers players had EBTs, we knew HMRC were contesting that these should be taxed, but there was no reason to believe Rangers did not to declare them to the SFA (unless you count the “sniff test” on Sir David…).

The EBTs were noted in Rangers audited accounts so it appears clear that Rangers at least notionally believed they were both legal (which they were) and legally executed (which we will soon find out).  When we took a shot in the dark on 22 February and posed the registration question, there was no reason to assume the SFA board had even considered the issue.  I’m sure they hadn’t and like the rest of us, were caught cold by the question.

Earlier that day the SFA announced an inquiry into Rangers headed by Lord Nimmo Smith.  His report was considered by the board on 8 March, when they presumably decided to send letters out to the member clubs the next day.  In short, this issue has been active at the SFA every day since it was first raised.

Had we known this at the time I suspect our view of the (apparent) SFA inactivity would have been different.  Maybe a PR lesson there.

Several friends and one brother have suggested that Stewart Regan’s letter is a prelude to an amnesty.  I doubt this.  The SFA chief exec does not have the authority to offer an amnesty and in his letter Regan says, “the Scottish FA reserves the right to refer any Club to the Compliance Officer, which might result in proceedings before the Judicial Panel”.

The letter is an attempt to establish if the problem is prevalent in one, or more than one club, a perfectly reasonable step at this stage. I’m guessing around 90 clubs will be able to respond within minutes.

As a result of this letter, the phoney war is over.  Comments like “there were no double contracts” can no longer be reported as though they have some validity to questions over unregistered payments to players.  Even those reporting from the back of the class will now have to recognise the validity of the questions we have been asking for weeks.

More on the nature of these questions later, specifically, is it cheating?

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846 thoughts on "Regan and SFA deserve credit"

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  • Lennon n Mc….Mjallby

    Long Wait

    The flaw in that is that hmrc had already issued a verdict in the form of an invoice,it was due to an appeal process that muddied the matter.

  • LiviBhoy

    Pubs in Edinburgh

    I currently live in the toon ken!

    I agree with most people’s analysis but it is a place that is very secretive in many ways. The locals are more likely to tell a tourist where the best bars or nightclubs are than they will to someone who has a central Scotland accent other than their own.
    It’s full of Jambo’s and Hibee’s who detest us. Yes even the Hibee’s hate us. When the Celtic v Rangers match is on you will find a lot of bars won’t even show it and will show English matches to appease the tourists and the locals who have very little interest in our match.

    However, there are a few bars that show the Celtic matches. The Irish bars are not always the best to go to but Drop KickMurphy’s is where the Edinburgh Uni and Herriot Watt CSC is now resident.
    7 Merchant St
    GRASSMARKET, Edinburgh

    Down Broughton Street the Phoenix is the place to go. There may be others like Malone’s which is a massive Irish bar up towards the university and Finnegans Wake which is just off the Grassmarket but I had heard they wouldn’t be showing soccer matches from now on due to trouble which had flared up.

    My advice would be phone or check in advance if they will be showing the match. Avoid the Spiders Web which is a Rangers boozer and anywhere in the Tynecastle area.


  • Chairbhoy

    Haven’t seen much from Mr Traynor recently (haven’t been looking mind you).

    But I was thinking his piece on Celtic causing redundancies at RFC seemed to originate on the Celts demand that RFC pay up front for their ticket’s to Paradise.

    Now I heard Gordon Smith say he knew nufffin aboot the problems at RFC before the Administration, so how come Celtic did?

    Just curious like.

  • Alasdair MacLean


    To be honest I was trying to think of anywhere I DIDN’T like and struggled!

    PS, what’s wrong with peuter dragons? (I’ll need to google Wicca!)

    Got to go for a while…laters

  • jude2005 is Neil Lennon \o/

    Paul or emdae?

    How do I send an email to CQN?

    2nd request.

  • gerry


    Thanks for the reply, thank God or BQ.

    Do you know when D&P will issue the list of creditors, Is there a time frame on it?

  • Invercelt

    Philvisreturns @ 14.01,
    Agree on Ed, but not quite on Edinburgh – one of my children lives there.

  • Alasdair MacLean

    Use to stay in Barony st many years ago – recommend the Royal Oak up the Bridges…

    Really gotta go – people waiting

  • !!Bada Bing!! Kano 1000

    neveralone-first time Miliband has impressed me,still looks like a 6th year debating candidate though.

  • tomtheleedstim

    Just having a pint on Byres Road for the first time. Me likey.

  • LiviBhoy

    Alasdair MacLean on 21 March, 2012 at 14:38 said:
    Use to stay in Barony st many years ago – recommend the Royal Oak up the Bridges…

    Royal Oak is a cracking wee bar for the folk music but not sure they have Sky TV.


  • leftclicktic

    Just found this in my favourites(cant remember the date but early doors) from the very start of the FAKE OVER,when anyone who dared to do a “sniff test” had their article removed. Beware of & apoligies for Orc crest.

  • 67Heaven … I am Neil Lennon..!!..Truth and Justice will always prevail

    Thelongwaitisover……. The bhuns can position it in any way they want to the SFA, but if they are judged guilty, they will have been found guilty of declaring only part of the players’ remunerations to the SFA / HMRC and the normal sanctions will apply ……. Pleading ignorance of the law is not a legally acceptable excuse…….

  • kikinthenakas


    Take a walk up Ashton Lane, their are some great bars and restaurants, very cosmopolitan, trendy and good beer and craic, Jintys is great fun.

  • Gordon_J backing Neil Lennon

    Had broadband problems most of the day so just catching up. Have to agree with a few other posters – Ed Miliband made his best contribution since becoming Labour leader.

    On another point, I was thinking earlier about Campbell Ogilvie’s move to Hearts.

    Now if Ogilvie at that point thought that EBTs were a legal way of vastly reducing employee costs, did he recommended to his new employers that they should set one up?

    And if not why not? Why would he not want his new employers to enjoy the same advantages that his old one had? He had first hand experience after all.

    Or were there conditions attached to the £80k payment he received when he left Ibrox?

  • Serenity

    The Watchman

    The watchman seemed to close his eye
    I was not sure if it was just a blink
    But it only takes a second
    For them to think

    The watchman seemed to look the other way
    I was not sure if it was just a glance
    But it only takes a second
    To take the chance

    The watchman seemed to nod and fall asleep
    I was not sure if I heard him snore
    But it only takes a second
    To slip in the door

    The watchman seemed to do his job
    Are we sure this was the case
    Was he sleeping for several years
    To his own disgrace

  • tomtheleedstim

    kikinthenakas on 21 March, 2012 at 14:45 said:

    Cheers mate. Might do that although sat comfortably at the moment with a beer watching some of Messi’s best goals on SSN after a busy morning.
    View through the window is errrm, quite nice.

  • Len Brennan

    WGS on 21 March, 2012 at 13:58 said:

    You’ve taken that too far!

    /Bishop B

  • philvisreturns

    Alasdair MacLean – Have you been to Airdrie?

    It’s like a downmarket version of Royston Vasey.

    Wicca is a sort of religion for fat people who like Harry Potter far more than is good for them. (thumbsup)

  • celticinthesun

    In a similar vein, I will be in York for the Celtic Rangers game on the 25th.

    Celtic bars say O’Neills is a good spot but any CQN recommendations will be appreciated.

  • googybhoy ♥ Celtic and Integrity

    Joe O Rourke says…

    Celtic fans are certainly not Racist.

    In the lead up to a Glasgow derby match it is normal for the media to stoke the fires with all sorts of stories about sectarian hatred involving both sets of supporters. They will always use the less than intelligent assumption that we are two sides of the same coin; and therefore equally as bad as each other.
    Yesterday I was alerted to a video by someone called KeV Kharas who made some sort of documentary for a company called VICE. In this documentary he tries to show extremism on both sides of the football divide by doing interviews with supporters from both sides.
    There is an interview in part two of this five part documentary (only seen two up until now) with David Scott form the organisation” Nil by Mouth” during the interview Scott claims that he watched his first derby match in a student union bar.
    He claims that he heard Celtic fans singing about the six million Jews who were killed in the Holocaust; he claims that the Celtic fans were singing they wished it had been Protestants instead of Jews.
    I personally have never heard Celtic fans singing songs about the holocaust; I don’t even know if the people who he claims were singing were indeed actually Celtic fans. I would state this quite categorically; the Celtic fans can be accused of many things; but certainly not of being racist or sectarian.
    I have no axe to grind with David Scott; or with Nil by Mouth; but I won’t stand back and let the good name of the Celtic fans be tarnished by false accusations. I intend to contact Mr Scott and ask him to clarify his statement.

  • thomthethim

    Professor Green et al,

    I don’t know many pubs in Edinburgh, but I have to admit that two of my daughters live there.

    One runs, with her fiancé, the Aspen Bar and Grill on South Bridge. (0131 556 0200).

    It has multi screens and shows the games.

    It is neutral and never has any bother.

    One another topic.

    I don’t think that many will disagree with me when I say that the present financial fiasco within the Scottish game, justifies the policies that Celtic embarked on, a) since Fergus’ time; but, more importantly, b) during Brian Quinn’s tenure.

    Celtic, as a collective support, have shared the credit when our actions have been held in high regard.

    We have also shared the collective embarrassment when some have let the side down.

    Therefore, I believe that as a collective, we owe a huge apology to Brian Quinn and Fergus, for the disrespect shown to those men at seperate flag unveiling ceremonies.

    For me, it is a wound that has to be healed.

  • The Lizard King

    Has anyone calculated the net worth to Scottish football of having Rangers in the SPL? By net I mean assuming some other club took their place – eg with an average home gate of 5-6k and 500 away fans, assuming also there would still be some sort of TV deal.

    Because that estimated “value” would quantify the cost of integrity for our game.

    (My money is on Mort having this).



  • thebhoywithmcgraininhisside

    BobbyRussell on 21 March, 2012 at 12:33

    What about: And you never won 9 in a row…

  • ‘crushed nuts?’ ‘Naw, Layringitis!’

    The most pleasing point is that the letter was dated 9 March. A look at the chronology of events is perhaps useful.

    Also this was the day when the infamous ‘gang of ten’ meeting was announced. Could it be that a number of SPL chairmen had a trouser filling moment when they realised that they too could be drawn into the pit dug by Minty?

    Perhaps the real reason for the meeting was to decide how the league rule book could be altered to save their skins?

    Or I am just one of those paranoid tims that everyone’s talking about?

  • Brummie Bhoy

    The Lizard King @ 2:56.

    I remember reading a blog on here that covered this type of scenario and detailed the increase attendences each team would require to make up for the loss of revenue if Rangers were to exit the SPL. i asked for a link to this last week but nobody seemed to have it unless I missed the reply which is possible.


  • BobbyRussell

    thomthethim on 21 March, 2012 at 14:53 said:
    Agree 100%. I was at both games and felt very saddened by the booing and abuse they took. Mainly down to the tactics of our old `friends`MSM.

  • TootingTim


    So apparently the richest are getting a ten grand bung from Gideon, pour encourage les autres to come back onshore and cease their pesky avoidance. Gideon has been up all night counting his magic beans and he thinks that he’ll get back more than he gives away, according to the commentariat on the wireless.

    Sounds like a high-risk strategy which is, at the very least, open to different interpretations. Hmmm, like the man says.

    So do you think he’s opened the door for non-payers like the re-arrangers to deploy similarly tortured logic?

    “Umm, cut our bill by x and we bet that more tax evaders will crawl out of the woodwork and pay up – y. You would never have seen that tax otherwise, and we are totally convinced that y will be a larger sum than x. Go on Hector, please?
    Gideon said it was okay…”

  • the hooped crusader

    I think the Alex Thomson piece on last night although not unveiling anything we did not already know is a step in the right direction.

    The story so long suppressed by the excuse for journalist we have in Scotland is now out in the open, at a national level.

    This can only be good in respect that the laptop loyal can no longer claim timmy paranoia, like in the good old days.

    The MSM have been behind the curve for a while now on this story, the blogosphere is setting the pace but let Alex Thomson can shine a light on these cretins who run our game.

    Look at it like peeling back the layers of an onion it’s only just started and the further in we get the more tears we will see.

    Us from laughing and thems greetin into their coco pops.

  • Mort

    The Lizard King

    Ha. Afraid not but give me 10 or 15 mins and I’ll make something up.


  • philvisreturns

    Invercelt – At least we’ll always have Ed. :)

    And I’m not deliberately trying to be unkind to Ed Milliband. He’s like a boy who won a competition to become leader of the opposition. I almost feel bad for mentioning it, but it’s ultimately cruel to humour his delusion that he might become Prime Minister.

    He looks to be barely capable of commanding the respect of his own wife. I bet small dogs refuse to sit when he tells them to.

    He makes David Cameron look like he know’s what he’s doing.

    Given the choice between parties led by Milliband, Camerclegg, or Cleggeron I think I’ll vote for Cthulhu in the next election.

    With Cthulhu, what you see is what you get. (thumbsup)

  • Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo

    If the huns liquidate I will personally be prepared to strap on a saddle and carry on my back Dermot Desmond, Brian Quinn, Peter Lawwell and John Reid all the way from the tunnel to the flag pole.

    Hail Hail

  • The Onlooker

    Brummie Bhoy:15:01 Lizard King 14:56
    I think it is this one
    From Wings Over Scotland


  • philvisreturns

    TootingTim – So apparently the richest are getting a ten grand bung from Gideon, pour encourage les autres to come back onshore and cease their pesky avoidance. Gideon has been up all night counting his magic beans and he thinks that he’ll get back more than he gives away, according to the commentariat on the wireless.

    Yup, it’s called the Laffer Curve.

    Also, do you think Labour introduced the 50p rate in 2010 after 13 years of careful study on its effects, or do you think it was part of their scorched earth tactics to play the politics of envy while sticking it to the Tories?

    I’m tending towards the latter.

    So do you think he’s opened the door for non-payers like the re-arrangers to deploy similarly tortured logic?

    No. (thumbsup)

  • kikinthenakas

    Go and take a wander, you won’t regret it it, the views are always good there too!

  • verdantvic

    can anybody give me a link to the alex thomson ch4 piece last night please

  • Declan Is Neil Lennon 1888 Hates being 2nd

    anybody ken what twitter is

  • Folly Folly

    Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo on 21 March, 2012 at 15:09:

    I take it you’re a big strappin’ fella, Awe_Naw … ?

    I’d certainly buy a ticket to watch that: you could raise a good few bob for charity.


  • Folly Folly

    Declan’s back!

  • emusanorphan

    Apologies if this has been posted, but this is the lead article on UEFA website today. Have they been watching Channel 4 News?

    UEFA and the European Commission have issued a positive joint statement on financial fair play
    ©AFP NewsJoint statement published
    President addresses ministers
    Strong support from MEPs
    Talks at European Commission
    European Parliament backs UEFAMoreSupporting documentationEuropean team sports federations statementSafeguarding the heritage of team sport in EuropeEU declaration on tackling racism in footballEU-UEFA television rights agreementMeca-Medina summary: a step backwards for the European Sports Model and the Specificity of Sport?Meca-Medina: a step backwards for the European Sports Model and the Specificity of Sport?UEFA’s position on Article 165 of the Lisbon TreatyJoint declaration by European team sports and French and Dutch ministersPACE-UEFA Conference – Play fair with sport: ConclusionsPlay fair with sport UEFA Calendar20 March 2012 – 21 March 2012
    UEFA Executive Committee, Istanbul, Turkey
    22 March 2012
    UEFA Congress, Istanbul, Turkey
    02 April 2012
    UEFA Medical Committee, Nyon, SwitzerlandPublished: Wednesday 21 March 2012, 10.45CETUEFA, European Commission issue joint statementThe European Commission confirmed that UEFA’s financial fair play rules tally with EU State aid policy, with the UEFA President and the commissioner for competition issuing a joint statement. Read more
    The European Commission today confirmed that UEFA’s financial fair play regulations are in line with European Union (EU) State aid policy.

    UEFA President Michel Platini and vice-president of the European Commission and commissioner for competition Joaquín Almunia published a joint statement on the issue, emphasising the consistency between the rules and objectives of financial fair play and the policy aims of the commission in the field of State aid. This joint statement was annexed to an exchange of letters between Mr Platini and vice-president Almunia, following a meeting between them in Brussels in December 2011.

    The UEFA President said: “I am very pleased that UEFA and the European Commission have together taken this decisive step to secure a prosperous and stable future for European football and for the European football community generally. Our statement confirms that UEFA’s financial fair play regulations are fully consistent with EU State aid policy and I would like to sincerely thank vice-president Almunia and the European Commission for their commitment, constructive spirit and cooperation in this joint process.”

    Mr Almunia, vice-president of the commission in charge of competition policy, said: “I fully support the objectives of UEFA’s financial fair play rules as I believe it is essential for football clubs to have a solid financial foundation. The UEFA rules will protect the interests of individual clubs and players, as well as the football sector in Europe as a whole. I would like to congratulate President Platini for his leadership on this issue.”

    Since the meeting between the UEFA President and the commission’s vice-president last December, the services of UEFA and the European Commission have been working together to analyse how the financial fair play measures fit within the framework of EU State aid policy. Today’s joint statement is the result of this work and expresses, in a concrete way, the common concerns and common objectives of both organisations.

    As requested by the European football community and following consultation with all stakeholders, the UEFA Executive Committee approved the financial fair play measures in May 2010. These measures include an obligation for clubs to balance their books over a period of time and not to spend more than they earn, thereby curtailing the excesses that have endangered football’s health in recent times. In this way, the measures are designed to protect the long-term health and viability of European club football.

    Both UEFA and the European Commission have also underlined the need to ensure that the rules are applied in a uniform manner to all clubs, to avoid any risk of discrimination or unequal treatment. Finally, the joint statement records that UEFA and the commission will continue their cooperation in this field, in order to address related issues of common concern.

  • Declan Is Neil Lennon 1888 Hates being 2nd

    folly a never went anywhere bud. coodnae mind my password. my mrs changed the password on ma email address aswell as she thought i was trying to chat birds up. i found the copy of the record ma password was wrotten on so now am back.

  • BobbyRussell

    reading the first 20 or so lines from your above post I thought it was from RanchoFranco

  • RaRaRasputin

    Declan is Neil Lennon 1888 Hates being 2nd [capitalisation sic], any chance that, should Celtic ulitmately be successful in wrestling the SPL title back from the mighty Gers, you might consider changing your blog name to “Declan is Neil Lennon 1888 Loves being 1st”?

  • yorkbhoy

    Celticinthesun O’Neils is your best bet for a good atmosphere, it might be on in other pubs but it will depend on which English games are on…

  • Declan Is Neil Lennon 1888 Hates being 2nd

    my mate beano said i should join twitter. i have no idea what it is though. i thought there might be some wee tidys on it so thought to maself why no.

  • BobbyRussell

    or Declan

  • Declan Is Neil Lennon 1888 Hates being 2nd

    rara we huvnae won anything yet chief. dont go counting your turkeys before they are born. long long way to go before that. the gers are still in the hunt mate.

  • playfusbal4dguilders

    Declan you should join Twatter!


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