A Judicial Review of the Lord Nimmo Smith Commission


Fans for Judicial Review
Lord Nimmo Smith headed a Scottish Premier League (now Scottish Professional League [SPFL]) Commission into the matters relating to Rangers EBT tax affairs, the Big Tax Case.

The Commission reported in 2013, finding that while Rangers failed to correctly register dozens of players employed from 2000 – 2011, as Rangers use of EBTs was legal, the methods deployed by the club were open to any other club.  Lord Nimmo Smith therefore found that no competitive advantage was gained by this use of EBTs.

On 5 July the UK Supreme Court found that Rangers use of EBTs was not legal, blowing apart the basis on which the of the Commission came to its conclusion.  Similar use of EBTs was not available to other clubs, there was not a level playing field.


Acknowledging this predicament, the SPFL board last week announced that it “supports the calls that have been made for an independent review concerning the way in which Scottish football’s authorities have dealt with non-payment of tax by clubs, have applied their rules and regulations”.

The League added that their senior counsel advised them they do not have the levers to investigate this matter.  The only other body able to investigate the issue is the Scottish Football Association.  However, within hours of the Supreme Court verdict, they hastily issued a statement to assert they would take no action.

A Judicial Review could provide the League with such a lever.

Instructing solicitor, senior counsel and senior junior counsel have been retained.  Funding has been secured for the initial undertakings.  No crowdfunding will be required at this time, although fans from many clubs have intimated support and a crowdfunding project may commence in the weeks ahead.

Support for this Review cuts across club colours and stretches the length of Scotland.  Many fans paid into a sport and feel that they were watching a rigged game for over a decade.  It is crucial for the future of Scottish football that wrongdoing, especially if it involved office-holders in the game, is properly investigated and has consequences.

As such, it is hoped the SPFL back the people who put money into the game by welcoming the opportunity for a Judicial Review.

I expect a period of dialogue will commence.  This will be conducted in private, there will be no informed leaks until counsel have completed preliminary dialogue and reported their assessment of the Review.  At that stage, a decision will be made on what course of action, if any, should be taken.


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  1. Oldco



    Expose spell check lol . EBT is sporting advantage through cheating. Side letters are illegal. Oldco Rangers should not be above natural justice. Strip the cheating years titles.

  2. Biggest game of the season bar the next CL qualifier. Celtic need to play at the top of their game. Score and it will be very difficult for Rosenburg to qualify. They will be up for a giant killing game so we need to make our quality count , the earlier the better.

  3. One assumes that Celtic will be unable to comment while there is a prospect of a judicial review.

  4. The Green Man says SACK THE Board on

    Why is it left to supporters again?


    What is wrong with PL, is he unable to speak?

  5. Welcome news hopefully let’s see…



    More ‘Secret Squirre’l but thanks Paul67 for the update.



    This isn’t going away.






    Are you still here?

  6. Auldheid



    It should not be necessary to say this but, in light of Chill Ultra’s self-serving history of his “innocent” (Aye Right?) questioning of the Res 12 process and decision-making, I will say it anyway.



    I believe there are far more of us, on CQN and, in the Celtic support, who are fully appreciative of your efforts and those of Canamalar, Morrisey, BRTH & others who gave time and energy to attempt this task against all the opposition you have faced.



    To then be faced by an accusation that you (and BRTH) were a sabotaging force because it did not play out in the way desired by someone who merely gave their shareholding support to the venture and then sat back awaiting his time to shout “Judas!” at you, well that could be a real slap in the face.



    But only if you give his specious logic and distorted history of events any house room in your mind, which is more than it merits.



    How would I know that there are more of us with an appreciation of someone who tried (and has yet to fail) than of the critics, whether they be of the Tony Donnelly variety, suggesting you were all played by our super-smart Board, or by the nastier Chill Ultra accusation, that you actually undermined your own aims?



    Well, you will get a flavour of that by the responses on here.



    To have to do so, on an important CL match day, is sad.



    But, in its own small way, it is important to me that I respond to the Chill Ultra mantra and state clearly- Not in my name- not by a long way!



    HH to all of you

  7. Whilst I am very pleased that the ball is rolling in pushing for a Judicial Review, it is disappointing that the club have (seemingly) decided to stay in the background again.



    Regardless, any JR will have my support.

  8. Stringer Bell on












    I second that emotion. Well played lads, whatever happens.

  9. In my opinion, if Celtic/PL were to go public, those people who hate celtic would be able to turn it into an old firm thing. This could produce so much noise that the main issue could be lost. Quiet assassin is the wise course of action in my opinion.

  10. Excellent news, Paul.



    Can the Bhoys do it tonight and make it an outstanding day … ?




  11. The Green Man says SACK THE Board on

    Clogher Celt



    Just woke up.


    But im still here:)





  12. I see the bookies have difficulty in making up their minds on tonight’s outcome



    Rosenborg are 2/1 to win the tie



    Celtic are 17/11 to do likewise



    And the draw is available at 12/5



    every possible outcome is odds against.




    I still think we can do this but defeat always remains a possibility.



    Like Jimbo67, I don’t want to hear repeated complaints about the absence of a big name 3rd striker for a team that plays with only 1 of them. Brendan has already dealt with that argument and, on the back of an Invincible season, he deserves some leeway, I would say.



    If we do go out, it will be because of “events, dear boy!”, the inevitable unpredictability of football matches that cannot be held off no matter how many strikers you hoard.



    But, I hope and believe that all of that will be unecesssary as we show Rosenborg, how to really play a break away game, provided we get the first hoal of the night.

  13. sFTB thank you for saying what I have been thinking for months on here. Paul 67’s special place can be toxic at times, some right fuds on here at times , full of their own self importance. You might think that you are some sort of smart arse ultra but you are not smart mate. Thanks to those who put their time and energy into doing something. Auld heid , canamalar, Morrissey BRTH et al . Take a bow bhoys Awesome effort. Up against the machine and the establishment. Anything that you achieve is a step in the right direction. Keep going. Hail Hail




    ‘on the back of an Invincible season’






    There was nothing invincible about Celtic’s performance in Europe last season.

  15. TGM,



    Poor day for Sevco.



    The Griff slays them at the airport.


    Judicial Review of their cheating.


    CL tonight.



    No doubt they’ll have their I Phones oot to set up another teenager in a Celtic top.



    Mind yourself (as they say here)



    HH & Duty Calls

  16. The Green Man says SACK THE Board on

    What makes you think that the blazers will be bothered about a judicial review.


    They just ignore the law, so what is the point.


    I think a better course of action, is to be honest.


    The PLC have no intention whatsoever to open their mouths, obviously, they are quick happy to be cheated.


    Why would that be then?




  17. The Green Man says SACK THE Board on

    If PL or the PLC dont think blatant cheating is serious enough to speak out about, why should anybody else bother?

  18. ernie lynch you win the best Hun wanabe on this site… which is no mean feat considering some of the other fuds on here.

  19. South Of Tunis on




    Scorchio — 38 degrees at 10 am -way down south .



    Big game tonight .. A Berlusconi channel. If it aint him it’s Murdoch .C’est la vie



    Top choon above from 66 . Today’s get out and do some work choon

  20. Dexter P. Bampot on

    I am not au fait with Scots law but do ķnow a bit about English law.



    Judicial Review is a narrower process than a straight appeal. Whilst an appeal may involve a hearing de novo or may have widely drafted grounds, a JR effectively deals with procedural irregularity or unfairness and/or whether the decision of the body in question was so unreasonable that the JR court must intervene. Added to that is the fact that there may be public policy reasons for non- intervention by the JR court or there may be remedies directed short of the relief sought.



    No doubt the legal opinions being sought will address the foregoing but if fans think the whole hearings will be reopened they may be disappointed.

  21. ernie






    I should have specified “invincible domestic season” and a decent recovery of european form after a disastrous start and a really, really bad campaign in Ronny’s 2nd season.



    You may be the only poster, asking me to increase my word count to become more specific :-)

  22. The Green Man says SACK THE Board on

    One day Celtic supporters are taking flak from all directions, next day they are asked to be ready to fund a judicial review.


    And yet, we hear nothing from the PLC. Are they really going to ignore this and leave it to the supporters?


    Do the PLC just want to ‘move on’, because if they do, there is no point to a judicial review. Is there?





  23. Dexter


    The SFA stated they would not hold a judicial review based on legal advice that there was no chance of success. If a judicial review IS held, which it now seems it will , and, that review determined that the initial findings of the LNS case was wrong based on evidence being withheld and the subsequent big tax case verdict which is irreversible, surely it forces the hand of the football governing bodies in Scotland to take action against Rangers?


    Their last crutch ( legal advice suggests we won’t succeed stance) is surely removed?




    Why is it left to supporters again?



    What is wrong with PL, is he unable to speak?





    Lot of frustration around the lack of comment from Celtic. I think I’d rather it was the fans pushing this than any club – including Celtic. It means the fans control it and don’t need to be concerned about the commercial interests of the clubs which are, after all, businesses that need to make money. Fans have a greater stake in fairness, transparency and accountability than the businesses that run football in Scotland, who are more concerned with the commercial impact of any decision.

  25. Tonight’s referee is 33 year old, Jonathan Lardot from Belgium.



    He has refereed 9 UEFA matches in his career, dishing out 25 yellow cards and awarding 6 (SIX!!!) penalties.



    Hopefully the Penalty Elf[meter] favours us tonight…

  26. The Green Man says SACK THE Board on




    The blazers will ignore any judicial review, they are a law unto themselves.


    Judicial review indeed, lol. It wont change anything.


    It will be ignored by the SFA/HUNS, just like Celtic supporters are ignored by the PLC

  27. Paul67


    I’ll support this when asked re the crowd funder but wish that time was now if only to circumvent the dodgy crowd funder sites which are out there. Be careful folks.



    2-1 hoops




  28. The Green Man says SACK THE Board on

    The law is an ass, and means nothing when it is so easily subverted

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