Disguised renumeration. Your triggered emotion


Yesterday, the Premier League charged Manchester City with more than 100 financial rule breaches over the period 2009 – 2018.  The club have not cooperated with the ongoing inquiry since 2018.  A lot of water has flowed under the bridge, but the cuts from 2010-12 run deep, when similar charges were successfully brought against Rangers.

Problems started for City over innocuous-sounding investigations into Related Party Transactions.  These are areas where an owner or controller of a club pays money, for example, to sponsor the stadium.  Uefa Financial Fair Play rules prevents clubs artificially inflating such deals in order to pump more money into their coffers.

The Premier League charge, among other matters, that City did not disclose full player and manager renumeration between 2010 and 2016.  City deny all allegations.

The clearest difference between City and Rangers is the protagonist.  HMRC were active against Rangers and other Murray Group companies.  They pursued the club for disguised remuneration through the inappropriate use of Employee Benefit Trusts (EBTs).  The matter went to the Supreme Court, which rules these Trusts were renumeration and should have been subject to employment taxes.

HMRC are not involved with City, so it is unlikely public services have lost out on this occasion.  The League have appointed a KC to head a commission of inquiry to investigate.  Before the HMRC action against Rangers concluded, but after liquidators were appointed, the Scottish Premier League asked Lord Nimmo Smith to investigate rule breaches.  Nimmo Smith found Rangers broke player registration rules of both the SPL and SFA.

In surprising testimony, the SFA’s Sandy Bryson gave evidence to the inquiry that, “even if there had been a breach of the SFA registration procedures, the registration of a player was not treated as being invalid from the outset, and stood unless and until it was revoked.”

So if you break the rules, you get away with it unless and until HMRC catch you.  The gods of good governance hid their faces.  England is different, of course.  There, their administrators, public prosecutors and police are not partial to any one club.  Without the City of London Police raiding Ibrox and passing information along Whitehall to HMRC in 2007, Rangers liquidation would never have happened.

If charges against them are upheld, Manchester City’s period of domination of English football is over, a return to the days of the enigmatic Kinkladze beckons.  Few will weep.

Throughout season 2011-12, Rangers, their fans, much of the media and several football administrators, backed owner Craig Whyte and his plan to flush the club’s liabilities, form a Newco and apply for SPL membership.

They were stopped by fan action which started on these pages in October 2011 with ‘The prepack route for Rangers Newco FC’.  I did not dream this up on my own.  The day before, Peter Lawwell called, worried that this would happen, “We need to stop this.”  He called practically every day for the rest of that season urging more action.

I was given credit for my prescience, he took the blame for not going public, believing it would undermine his influence with other clubs.  Neither were deserved.  Without his Machiavellian strategizing, you would have lived under a red, white and blue cosh for the last decade or so.  There’s more I could write, but probably best not.  I just thought you should know some of what happened.

Click Here for Comments >

About Author

  1. Pages:
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. 5
  7. 6

  1. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    Meanwhile Celtic continue to rack up trophies at a phenomenal rate.



    The edifice of the old network, handshakes and all is being dismantled one brick at a time.



    Organisations which promote and empower based on a funny handshake are never competent.



    That’s their weakness.



    They make mistakes.



    The best people don’t make it to the top.



    Then they don’t make it to the middle.



    But their capacity for desperate self preservation doesn’t diminish, it increases.



    Result? More focus on self preservation, less focus on doing the job you’re paid to do


    (which you already did badly because you were not the best person for it).



    Trying to crucify embedded self interests is fraught and often unsuccessful.



    It’s amazing how often they can cobble together a coalition of the dormant bigoted, circle the wagons and successfully portray those legitimately going after them as the bad guys.



    Shine a light on them and let them crucify themselves.




  2. SCULLYBHOY @ 9.55


    Enjoyable read about Hjulian..,no need to apologise.Will give your best wishes to the young man on Friday when we meet up.I enjoy ‘passing’ on Celtic stuff to your goodself….no need ‘to return the service’.As I mentioned briefly regarding An Tearmann….he did say late summer re Clonard and Falls tour,Time for zzzzzz as medication is kicking in.


    Stay safe all.

  3. There have been numerous references tonight to the ‘not in my name’, ‘never play the huns again’, ‘whatever my club loses in not playing the hun again’ etc.



    I would like to say I am in that camp.



    Whatever they bring to the table, I don’t want. I stopped going to THAT game simply because I didn’t like how it made me feel. OK, that was my problem and I do not criticise any Celtic supporter for going there.



    But, they are anti-social, divisive, obnoxious, intolerant and anti-football as I know and understand it. And I would happily not have anything to do with them, despite what the mighty Dermot might think. He is an individual and if he thinks they are a great club then fair play to him. But, he is wrong. They are a cancer in our society and in our game and I assume his view is influenced economically rather than socially. But it is alright for him because he does not have to live among the hun. Or live in a country influenced by the hun, in media, politics or the legal system.



    If we have to wait a number of years for a real and decent opponent, so be it. We all know how football works, success comes in cycles, but my gut churns at the thought that the Hun continues to be our main opponent.

  4. Emeraldbee – I really couldn’t care less about Rangers. Never look at their scores and get annoyed when they are constantly discussed on the blog. I do however think that the SPL would be a boring league without them. What on earth would we look forward to if we didn’t have hunskelping every season. It’s normally the only league game that generates any real excitement or concern for me.



    I don’t disagree with your eloquent summation of their being, but there’s many fans out there like me who enjoy nothing more than teaching them a football lesson.

  5. GREENPINATA on 7TH FEBRUARY 2023 10:45 PM


    If you have a ST and cannot go, what game gets friends queuing at your door ?








    The Old Firm games.

  6. GREENPINATA on 7TH FEBRUARY 2023 10:45 PM



    Difficult not to conclude that the Celtic support just didn’t have it in them to do what was necessary to avoid the outcome we’re left with.

  7. ERNIE LYNCH on 7TH FEBRUARY 2023 11:00 PM









    Difficult not to conclude that the Celtic support just didn’t have it in them to do what was necessary to avoid the outcome we’re left with.





    If the Rangers CEO and their fans ad the same info as our Saviour do you think they would have given a flying fuck about preserving the “old firm” tag team together …..




  8. BURNLEY78 on 7TH FEBRUARY 2023 7:30 PM




    Can you explain how exactly that would have worked ? How this fight would have been won in the courts etc ? Why uefa would have listened ?




    Who knows? My point is that my club never acted on information provided by shareholders that should have killed this continuity nonsense stone dead and stripped honours awarded through underhanded means. They never went to war for Celtic, its supporters or the hard hours put in by the Res 12 heroes who, after all, were only doing it for the integrity of the game.


    That is the legacy of our board.

  9. The returnof weeron on

    ERNIE LYNCH on 7TH FEBRUARY 2023 11:00 PM






    Difficult not to conclude that the Celtic support just didn’t have it in them to do what was necessary to avoid the outcome we’re left with.







    So, what do you prefer? A world where there is no domestic competition? We had that when rangers died. 20,000 Celtic supporters walked away. Is that what we want?



    Or do we prefer today’s reality in which:



    rangers died but they won’t admit it;



    Celtic are much better run;



    Celtic are financially stronger;



    Celtic are heading for our 11th title out of 12.



    Would you give that up for a world where newco hadn’t been born?



    Where hearts was our nearest ‘rival’…..28 points behind with 13 games to go?



    Where the 20,000 who stopped buying tickets would today be a much bigger number?



    Yes, the process was rigged, but at the end of the day, rangers still died. By their own hand, not that of the SFA. But dead they are. All they have is a newco with one title out of 12.



    Unless we are allowed to join another league, this is as good as it gets.



    The frustration of not getting more ‘justice’ is preventing some of you from supporting and enjoying one of the best Celtic sides that we’ve had in a very long time.



    Hail Hail,



  10. Paul67,



    Stop telling fibs about Lawwell. I also had someone much closer to the action on the non Celtic side and aiding & abetting incl killing Res12 is more appropriate. He also had discussions with Lawwell.



    I know 2 Celtic fans granted an audience with Lawwell and him showing letters to the SFA — i told them don’t be so naive. Not happy bunnies.



    So please don’t rewrite history. Lawwell put himself first and celtic second and took £20Mil out of the club and danaged the club on so many levels. Unfortunately he is now Chairman. i suppose articles like yours are a sign of collective guilt or amnesia.

  11. I’ve been witnessing in the last two weeks the media have been turning the screw with Ange leaving.



    Peter Lawwell returns recently coincidence? I think not.



    Before all you board apologists accuse me & others of paranoia let me remind you what he told the Res 12 guys.



    Give me the bullet & I’ll fire it, did he?



    F**ked his own fans over that’s the character of him.



    It isn’t too difficult to put together the pieces between the Celtic chairman and his most favourite reporter, he’s been putting the boot into Ange recently and giving a certain Chairman the Sir David treatment.




  12. Tom McLaughlin on

    The Daily Record and the Sun promoting the exit of Ange to the EPL and it’s apparently the diabolical hand of Peter Lawell.



    I don’t know how some CQNers sleep at night.

  13. Tom McLaughlin on




    I have zero interest in BR. He’s yesterday’s man.



    Ange is the manager.

  14. BR’s heart wasn’t in it anymore at Celtic, for lots of different and varied reasons, so he left at the first good opportunity. The transfer fee was £9Mill. por cierto

  15. The F*C$ the Tories'” rendition will be massive on Saturday with a certain assistant referee in attendance, por ciert

  16. Canamalar it looks like OCD obsession on

    Por Cierto on 8th February 2023 9:21 am,


    As I said, engineered, a million wingers



    Por Cierto on 8th February 2023 9:21 am,


    “As I said, engineered, a million wingers”



    9 million Whingers! :)))

  18. TOM .



    Is it possible the board could have done more to keep Brendan , or just have told him he’s staying to honour his contract …….getting quite a few million for him might have some bearing on the outcome

  19. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    SUTTON1888 on 8TH FEBRUARY 2023 8:13 AM


    I’ve been witnessing in the last two weeks the media have been turning the screw with Ange leaving.



    Peter Lawwell returns recently coincidence? I think not.





    Respectfully – that’s a stretch.



    Post hoc, ergo propter hoc.



    The SMSM needle a successful Celtic manager … and this is your explanation?



    Clue – “successful”

  20. Who was the last manager of an SPL side to move to the EPL?


    And how did that work out for the team? And the manager?


    For that reason alone, I doubt EPL clubs will look north for a replacement.


    People are reacting to media speculation and shit stirring.


    Looking for a reason why our manager will leave and then connecting it to their loathing for board members is a stretch to say the least.


    Enjoy what we are experiencing and enjoy these good days.


    We don’t know how long they will last.

  21. Tom McLaughlin on




    Was it PL’s fault that Ange was linked with Wolves, Everton & Brighton? How did that work out?

  1. Pages:
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. 5
  7. 6