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?

Issue 7 of CQN Magazine is out now! Go to the dedicated magazine site here to read it properly (which you’ll not be able to do below).

Sales of hard copies of the magazine are up on the corresponding figure last month – when we sold out.  Order your copy for delivery by clicking on the link below for news and views from Celtic supporters.

Pay by card or Paypal.

Ship to:

You can support the online edition by making a discretionary donation here.

846 thoughts on "Regan and SFA deserve credit"

Leave a Reply

  • medtim

    It is now 32 days since rangers fans were observed singing sectarian songs at ibrox during their game with Kilmarnock.
    I am all in favour of conducting thorough,objective investigations but why would such a seemingly straightforward charge take so long to investigate?
    A listen to radio commentary,a watch of tv coverage,a statement from the match observer and match commander would provide most,if not all,of the evidence required.Half a day’s work?
    If something so seemingly simple takes so long,how long will an investigation take into whether players were properly registered or not?

  • Chairbhoy

    TootingTim @ 15:02,

    “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.”

    You have to give it these guys, they live in a world of so devoid of logic and common sense you have to wonder

    There was a guy from the IFS – an independant body – stating the although the Chancellor had given benefits to the wealthy the increase in personal tax allowances helps the lower paid.

    So that would be £220.00 for the lower paid and £220.00 for Philvis & Co, now to my untrained eye it seems the same.

    Apparently IFS stands for the Institute for Fiscal Studies – who’d a thought. With geniuses like that analysing our Economy why did it all go wrong?

  • themightyquinn

    I think we should have a good Celtic debate today, lets stop talking about how Stupid the huns are.

    My idea for a topic is this.

    Celtic have been at their best when we have a strong number 7

    Who could fill this role?

    Do we have any current players who deserve the number 7 top?

    And if not who would we realistically love to buy?

  • Brummie Bhoy

    The Onlooker @3:09

    Thats the one, many thanks.

  • Mort

    The Lizard King

    In 2010/11 there was a total attendance of 3,117,334 at all SPL games. Rangers home games accounted for 860,793 of this. Based on a couple of teams average attendances and then attendances at Rangers games, we can assume they take approx 4,000 away fans to each game (or at least attendance at game increases by 4,000) so thats another 76,000 loss to other teams.

    A team with an average attendance of 5000 taking 500 away fans to games brings an additional 104,500 supporters into the SPL.

    Overall that leaves a shortfall of approximately 832,000 supporters and you also have to factor in the fact that most teams try to get extra money out of supporters by charging extra when Celtic and Rangers visit their stadia.

    However all we really need to consider is the 76,000 away supporters that Rangers bring to away grounds as their home attendance has no impact on the rest of the SPL clubs.

    Each club would therefore have to sell the equivalent of an additional 8,000 tickets across the full season to make up the shortfall that Rangers supporters bring to them. That works out at just over 420 tickets a game.

    With more clubs challenging for honours and european places, this shouldn’t be too onerous a task.

    In terms of TV money, SPL clubs are expected to receive a total of £16m per year as a result of the new deal. It is not an equal split as more favourable towards those teams who finish near the top of the table.

    On average however a team could expect to get £1.33m from TV money (obviously it will be more if higher up or less if lower down). With tickets at an average of even say £20, each club would need to sell an additional 65,000 tickets a season. That’s definately going be much more difficult.

    Obvisously without Rangers in the SPL, some teams will suffer a downturn in fortunes due to decreasing revenues across the board.

    Most will be impacted upon but as you say, what price do you put on sporting integrity.


  • Paddy Turner

    Alasdair MacLean on 21 March, 2012 at 14:33 said:
    Aye, I’m home a week today. Passing time at the moment, (as I type), waiting for some decisions to be made. Drop me a line with a number and I’ll give you a call.
    Here you go ken

    Edina – Yin
    Wedgie – Wan
    Or is it the other way about……….

    Call awaited……….and nae heavy breevin

    Paddy T


  • FJIW

    Heard that the Chancellor stated in his Budget Speech that he considered tax avoidance to be immoral. Anyone confirm this?

  • RaRaRasputin

    Hi Chairbhoy

    As a percentage of salary, £220 is a bigger tax break for lower earners, and a smaller tax break for philvisreturns. You are, of course, correct in observing that those on lower incomes have less money than philvisreturns.

  • Kayal33

    from the madhouse that is FF

    Fitting quote from legendary coach Zdenek Zeman
    “It’s better to finish last than it is to win without any dignity”
    Even has the makings of a banner I’d say.

    They just don’t get it do they?

  • philvisreturns

    RaRaRasputin – Yup.

    So the effect is “progressive”, which all my left-wing friends tell me is a Good Thing.

    Also, when I immediately go out and spend that money on swan pate and Milton Friedman t-shirts, it circulates back through the economy. (thumbsup)

  • quonno

    Joe Filippis Haircut on 21 March, 2012 at 12:24 said:

    From recent personal experience Salmond is not too up to speed on replying to e-mails

  • Len Brennan

    FJIW on 21 March, 2012 at 15:38 said:
    Heard that the Chancellor stated in his Budget Speech that he considered tax avoidance to be immoral. Anyone confirm this?

    Looks like you heard right my friend..From BBC live feed.

    1315: The chancellor says tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance are “morally repugnant”.

    Gone yersel Hector!

    /Bishop B

  • fergus slayed the blues

    If brains were dynamite the average poster on FF would not have enough to blow there nose .
    After all that has been uncovered regarding ragers fc I think the word dignity should be confined to the dustbin forever
    hail hail

  • themightyquinn

    No takers?

  • RaRaRasputin

    Sorry philvisreturns old boy, but I think your £220 might be almost entirely offset by the reduction in the threshold for the 40% tax band. Still, at least it is nearly bonus time. (thumbsup)

  • Gordon_J backing Neil Lennon


    Someone on £10k per year will gain £220

    Someone on £100k per year will gain £220.

    But someone on £200k per year will gain £2,720 because of the top rate tax cut.

    And someone on £1,000,000 per year will gain £42,720 per year.

  • TootingTim

    Thanks philvis that was a fascinating wiki read as it ‘appens.

    IIRC, Oor Gordon and Mr Tony were discussing a 50p tax rate way back before the 1997 election…so to answer, no I don’t think scorched earth was the primary motivation, but that there was a genuine desire to raise revenue from a sector of society that had recently invoked elector and representative ire alike. Which brings us to the ‘symbolic’ value of the 50p tax rate.

    Since it seems most of these extra revenues have remained on coys. books in anticipation of Gideon’s reversal and nothing even approaching optimal has been raised. Furthermore this would have been bargained for. So perhaps a move made to shore up the Labour vote, to bring in a few hundred mill extra (as opposed to couple of billion?), and also to be seen to be doing something, to lay down a marker etc was a worthwhile exercise.

    Incidentally I have to agree with your assessment of Ed. His election was always an internally focused event. He does seem to have an authority bypass, yes.

    Hey, ho. And hail, hail.

  • themightyquinn

    I’ll start the ball rolling, I think we get a good young player like Bas Dost and develop him if there’s nobody in our youth set up that can fulfil the role.

  • quonno

    medtim on 21 March, 2012 at 15:31 said:
    One of my unreplied to e-mails to Salmond that I referred to in a previous post concerned the Hearts/Rangers hatefest in the immediate wake of THEM going into administration

  • Art of War

    Afternoon all!

    Don’t know if anyone has already asked this!

    Ogilivie said he got 2 loans at £5000 a pop and a final lump sum of £70k (?)
    When i get a loan i have to tell the bank the intended use of the loan, say..a new kitchen or something.

    So what did CO use his `loan’ for? Any suggestions?


    PS. Paul67, can i be shared? MT’s

  • fergus slayed the blues

    len brennan
    He forgot to add ,unless you are our majesty’s 11
    When it looked like CW was going to shaft the HMRC (49m) everyone was happy to go along with the charade ,it was only when the hordes found out that he had used future ST money that the hordes and the SPL/SFA/MSM began giving him stick
    hail hail

  • thomthethim

    Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo on 21 March, 2012 at 15:09 said:

    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.

    Any room for WGS Ist.?

  • RaRaRasputin

    Gordon_J – someone on £100k will gain £15 actually, barely enough for a half pint of Sierra Nevada in the Canary Wharf All Bar One.

    However, you are spot on regarding the £200k+ brigade.

  • quonno

    FJIW on 21 March, 2012 at 15:38 said:

    That he said it or that it is immoral?

  • Lennon n Mc….Mjallby


    That absolutely takes the biscuit,is it any wonder their in the bother they are?

    I’m trying to see from their pish soaked shoes how they have come to that view,is it Celtic’s fault David Murray ran them into the ground then sold them to somebody who is actually doing them a favour of what looks like trying to liquidate them?

    Their views are so inward and twisted that I’m surprised their faces don’t pop out of their shoulder blades.

  • The Spirit of Arthur Lee

    Art of War

    A set of new Aprons

  • PaddyBhoy

    Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo on 21 March, 2012 at 15:09 said:

    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
    Reckon Fergus McCann should be in front of them all! Just saying like……

  • Aipple

    philvisreturns at 14:49
    Alasdair MacLean – Have you been to Airdrie?

    It’s like a downmarket version of Royston Vasey.

    Love that!

  • quonno

    PaddyBhoy on 21 March, 2012 at 16:02 said:
    You said a mouthful. Don’t know that Fergus would want to be in Reid’s company.

  • voguepunter

    Art of War on 21 March, 2012 at 15:57 said:

    100 pair of (orange)walking shoes,size orc.

  • googybhoy ♥ Celtic and Integrity

    quonno on 21 March, 2012 at 15:52 said:
    Joe Filippis Haircut on 21 March, 2012 at 12:24 said:

    Replies rom Salmond are usually bland and outline present policies does not answer your query.

  • Aipple


    If you like your Sierra Nevada you should try their Ruthless Rye IPA, less of the old alcohol (6.4) but a tasty adult beverage all the same.

  • quonno

    googybhoy ♥ Celtic and Integrity on 21 March, 2012 at 16:06 said:
    quonno on 21 March, 2012 at 15:52 said:
    Joe Filippis Haircut on 21 March, 2012 at 12:24 said:

    Ever come across a politician who did?

  • Art of War

    voguepunter on 21 March, 2012 at 16:05 said:
    Art of War on 21 March, 2012 at 15:57 said:

    100 pair of (orange)walking shoes,size orc.
    A rather large paper shredder! :-0

  • Timabhouy

    god bless her majesty

  • Timabhouy

    s, revenue & customs

  • googybhoy ♥ Celtic and Integrity

    quonno on 21 March, 2012 at 16:07 said:

    Waste of space.

  • Chairbhoy

    Gordon_J @ 15:55,

    “Someone on £10k per year will gain £220…………….And someone on £1,000,000 per year will gain £42,720 per year”.

    Too true.

    RaRaRasputin @ 15:40,

    “As a percentage of salary, £220 is a bigger tax break for lower earners, and a smaller tax break for philvisreturns.”

    Aye true, and I think that was what he was getting at.

    However when you go to Tesco they don’t tend to charge you on income percentage.

    And if you do the numbers as Gordon_J has done, you will see that when they say a benefit for the wealthy, that’s exactly what they mean, yet when they say a benefit for the lower paid they mean everyone.

    They believe that everyone under £40K can’t do Arithmatic.

    CanaryWharfAllBarOne – Memories hazy ones, but still memories.

  • Aipple


    Your blog name leads to nothing other than a mis-spelt Yahoo.
    Tells a story.

  • ASonOfDan

    According to Chris Jack of the Evening Times the Blue Knights and Brian Kennedy might lose out on buying rangers due to ‘a host of big-money offers on the table from across the globe’

    I know, I p1shed myself laughing as well.

    Stupid huns…

  • Timabhouy

    nothing wrong with my blog name !

  • goldstar10

    Watched the first half of the development squad game yesterday, Dylan McGeough on the right was the stand out, the shorn Juarez in centre mid looked lively and Ibrahim playing behind Brozek looked sharp.
    Izzy still not up to speed, but progressing.

    1-0 going on 6 at h-t, no surprise we ended up comfortable winners in the end.
    Only downside was the sight of miserable Jim Jeffries.

  • verdantvic

    i fear a riot on sunday-they surely cant live with celtic-
    what if the score gets past 3? 4,5,6,7,8,9…………….if
    its theyre last match v us-and they wont leave early for
    this one-looks very dangerous-what about the security
    for our staff?-yours-in panic

  • RanchoFranco

    That SFA sponsored Monster Dumper Truck that has been idling over, within the
    environs of Edmonton drive for some weeks has spare capacity for all manner
    of new manure for it’s pre programmed terminus the motherload of dumpings.
    Marble staircases and all them many bluerooms their prime target for maximum
    Collateral damage.
    All contingent expense incurred by this necessary enterprise on behalf the taxpayer shall be reimbursed through non monetary Satisfaction the resultant
    sense of wellbeing and good health engendered by such an act.

  • Chairbhoy

    BTW anyone who thought I spelt Arithmetic wrong in the last post I didn’t, I was just doing it in my Airdrie accent to wind up Philvis – honest like.

  • Lennon n Mc….Mjallby

    Re the budget.

    The rise in personal allowance,for 2013,does this mean its 12/13 or 13/14?

    Obviously I’m hoping its the former.

  • goldstar10

    I assume you have all seen this picture, puts any doubt to rest.

  • Alasdair MacLean

    philvisreturns at 14:49
    Alasdair MacLean – Have you been to Airdrie?

    It’s like a downmarket version of Royston Vasey.
    Love that!
    I’ve lead a sheltered life maybe. Had to google Royston Vasey as well.
    And I don’t think I’ve ever been to Airdrie….unless a court appearance in Cumbernauld counts?
    (A traffic offence – speeding – long story.)

  • Len Brennan

    goldstar10 on 21 March, 2012 at 16:16 said:

    Who scored the goal mate?

    /Bishop B

Leave a Reply