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the registration of a player was not treated as being invalid from the outset, and stood unless and until it was revoked.”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.

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  1. Canamalar it looks like OCD obsession on



    Its an old scout motto, “Be Prepared”.


    As said earlier, prefer to be wrong but will not be surprised if right.


    The fact the manager got most of the players he wantd is promising but if a big offer comes in then if he does not want to go I can see another engineering lesson and manager leaving us in he lurch again.






    I still keep to CQN but only by my fingertips. Imo, it is not the site it was. It used to be very enjoyable, entertaining and thought-provoking, imo. Can’t say that anymore.



    Did the rot set in when politics reared its head a few years back?


    Res12 certainly played its part.



    The lack of respect for and, indeed, personal attacks on others, especially Paul67, obviously contributed to folk moving elsewhere.





    Spot on! Couldn’t agree more.




    What we now have is an Old Firm, one side of which, Celtic, has made it clear that it relies on the continued existence of the other side for its ongoing success.



    Because that’s what its fans want, whatever their protestations to the contrary may be.



    Not for me, thanks.

  4. Big fire south west of Celtic Park this morning, between Emirates Arena and Clyde Gateway across London Road south of ticket office.




    It has always been very easy for Celtic supporters who have never had any desire or inclination to go to a game to put forward moral and/or political reasons for not attending.



    You’re fooling no-one.

  6. A great wee song for the Celtic Dressing Room…





    Sorry, I cant do the Link. If some kind soul wants to do the Link…please do ?



  7. `GG



    `People are reacting to media speculation and shit stirring.`



    So true. I am not certain that `shit stirring` is their motive but I am sure that these same people will tell all and any that the media doesn`t affect their independent thinking !!!!


    No matter how often the MSSM are negative about Celtic, far too many supporters will still fall for it.




  8. TOM MCLAUGHLIN on 8TH FEBRUARY 2023 10:08



    I appreciate that truth isn’t a concept that you are overly concerned about, but, just to be clear, you are wrong to state that I have never had the desire or inclination to attend games.

  9. Tom and Ernie, any more sniping and you will both be in the bin till tomoz



    Canamalar, politico claptrap is not for here see above

  10. Hassan i Sabbah on

    His judgement cometh



    And that right quick.



    Can we expect to see some new ” contributors ” to Sentinel Celts now?

  11. Good Morning Celts – Grand Day To Be A Tim,



    Some good stuff reading back last night, I’m in the we don’t need no stickin’ Rangers camp, the old firm is a toxic concept that Celtic should not be near.



    Also, hope the Brendan Rodgers’ fiasco will be a warning to the Board.



    Ange must be properly remunerated and supported – I sincerely believe we have learned those lessons and turned a corner



    Hail Hail

  12. Interesting blog Paul67.


    Plenty of contradictions,to many mmmms as you used to say.So many strands.This one will be left to historians,it will leak and seep out for years to come,it will orbit around 14.06.12 and truth.it happened.They own it.



    Celtic are us.been so since we left the hall.






    Hail Hail.

  13. Neither Brendan nor Martin were staying with us. They moved for career advancement and family health reasons (followed by a career advancement) respectively.



    Both Brendan and Martin were glad to be gone from Celtic and regarded Leicester and Villa as “further up the Totem Pole” jobs as they looked to land or re-land, in Brendan’s case, an elite club job.



    It is sometimes easier for us to blame push factors rather than pull factors when people leave.



    But, if you think Kieran Tierney left for Arsenal because he didn’t love Celtic, then you will continue to have the need for a “push factor” villain.






    The dispute relates to employee benefit trusts that allegedly advised the companies to form to reduce employee income tax and national insurance bills. The claimants say they thought this was a lawful way to “reward staff”, including directors….



    …HM Revenue & Customs began investigating in 2014. The claimants said that after they had been warned they risked large tax bills, Townsend Harrison and Begbies had helped to establish a “complex” structure for avoiding these liabilities, allegedly involving the sale of the companies’ assets to new “phoenix” businesses that would leave the tax debt behind.



    These structures turned out to be “highly aggressive” forms of tax avoidance and there was “no real prospect of them succeeding”, the claimants said, adding that “no reasonably competent accountant or insolvency professional” (LOL) could have recommended them.



    HMMM, I wonder where could possibly have got the idea that a pre-packaged “phoenix” company might be a way of ditching EBT liabilities and emerging with their company basically the same but with no debt?

  15. Weebobbycollins on

    Life ban for Ernie? Surely you are joking?


    That’s a big stick you’re wielding mr moderator.


    Definitely going to the dogs now…


    Hmm.. we get it @p67.


    I have not posted in over 5 years or so…!


    However I felt compelled.


    Mr lawwell was CEO at one of our most fruitfulness times of our football clubs existence. For that I am grateful. However we missed the true boat. To destroy that club and all the bigots with it. Newco is an even harder vitriol to take.


    Thanks Peter, could have done better though

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