Fit & Proper test opens Pandora’s Box


I hear the SFA had asked for clarification on Craig Whyte’s alleged disqualification as a director, without getting confirmation one way or another, since the issue was initially brought to their attention by the landmark BBC documentary, Rangers: The Inside Story.  Rangers disclosure to the Plus Exchange (where the club’s shares are traded) on Wednesday that this specific BBC allegation was correct, was the information the SFA needed before they were in a position to act and apply a Fit and Proper Person (FPP) test to Whyte.

Dramatic though it sounds, failing a FPP test, in itself, is only likely to cause superficial damage to a club or its owner.  An owner would need to resign as a director but he could allow the other directors to continue running the business, or he could appoint a proxy to take control of the business, which is often the way controllers run football clubs anyway.

What is of more interest, however, are matters likely to be disclosed as part of the SFA investigation.  The Association would require Mr Whyte to explain what he did to be barred from holding a directorship for seven years, something the BBC lawyers would be able to question Whyte on in the witness box, should he actually sue, instead of repeatedly threatening to do so.

Of most interest to the SFA will be Rangers financial submission for their Uefa licence, which enabled the club to be nominated as Scotland’s participants in this season’s Champions League.  A condition of participation in Uefa competitions is that no debts to tax authorities due on 31 December the preceding year remains unpaid on 31 March.

In September HM Revenue and Customs gained permission from the court to freeze £2.3m of Rangers money in connection with an unpaid tax bill.  The principle element of this bill has not been disputed by Rangers.  The SFA will now be keen to establish if any part of this bill was in connection to taxes due in prior to 31 December 2010.  If it was, Celtic were entitled to be Scotland’s Champions League representatives, when overcoming the likes of Malmo stood between them and a £15m pay-day.

This is a legal minefield for the SFA chief exec, Stewart Regan, who has my sympathy. Things are about to become interesting.

While we are on the subject of that £2.3m tax bill, HM Revenue and Customs are due to get their hands on the cash after Friday next week, the last day Rangers are able to dispute the debt. If Rangers enter administration prior to that date, the cash would revert to the administrator and the club’s secured creditors would be entitled to it.

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  1. Br\o/gan R\o/gan Trevin\o/ and H\o/gan says:


    3 December, 2011 at 11:15



    I had heard of Ugolini but didn’t know of his connection with Celtic prior to Middlesborough. It seems as if we have been overly generous with that club as we gave them Bobby Murdoch when he had so much more to give us here.



    The folk of the N.E. must think we are very generous or very stupid to give our best players away like this.

  2. the long wait is over on

    I’m glad Scott Brown’s signed again.



    He might not be quite the player we’d hoped but we need his drive and I think we’ve yet to see the best of him.




    Oh and he did give us the Broony – worth a 4 year deal on its own arguably…

  3. The Battered Bunnet says:


    3 December, 2011 at 11:43



    That’ll be Paul Murray on the FF banned list now.



    I bet they’re frothing about media bias, given their factual reporting of a positive story on Celtic today and a factually correct, albeit one based on a former director’s opinion, negative story regarding the orcs.



    I wonder how and what the orcs read into the response in the last paragraph. I mean, will they recognise the word ‘mismanagement’ and the context with which it is used?

  4. It’s weeks since the huns have had a penalty – what’s the odds today?



    I can see an early one coming if the game stays at 0 – 0. The crowd will get on top of them the longer it goes and the ref will eventually help out?




  5. Kayal33



    The cynicism of some Celtic supporters really is very depressing at times, even when we’ve just signed the club captain, – it means


    that we are selling somebody.



    Do you wear shoes a size too small when you’ve nothing else to worry about?

  6. The Battered Bunnet, I saw those comments from Paul Murray earlier. I fond most interesting this bit:



    “we spent a lot of time with Craig Whyte ensuring that he knew what the cash flows were. There seemed to be an unwillingness to go into any level of detail of what the cash flow was. I could not believe that he took on an unquantified tax liability. I have never seen anyone do that”.



    To the casual observer, one would think Whyte is either a complete idiot or has a cunning plan with an end-game that has him sitting on a balcony in a plush Monaco pad smoking a fat Havana whilst the huns are dust.

  7. The Battered Bunnet on

    Mr X



    I think there are so many contradictions in the Craig Whyte story that it’s quite impossible to draw any conclusions as to his plans for Rangers.



    He could be the evil genius, or the naive mug, or any personality in between.



    Personally, this casual observer thinks he’s simply an Odd Nugget.




  8. Davie Hay. Alfie Conn. Kenny Dalgish. Danny McGrain. Henrik Larsson. Scott Brown. Lubo. Gordon Strachan. And more, so many more, more than you’ll ever know… the common denominator -simple -just good guys who stood in our corner and fought and fought and fought; and not a one of them was born – Celtic Minded.

  9. FrankTerry says:


    3 December, 2011 at 11:37



    ‘Absolutely delighted Scott Brown has signed! A guy you’d want beside you when the going gets tough,’







    There’s a 50/50 chance his reaction would be to lose the nut and commit a rash, pointless foul.

  10. The Battered Bunnet @11 43 —-



    ” He was a Director when much of the mismanagement that got the club into its current position occurred ” .



    Indeed -he was . .



    The Vulture is laying the ground for a future —- It’s a terrible mess —– I can’t do anymore than I have done —- the previous regime are to blame ——Sorry..



    He will take what he has stripped and walk off into the Hunset [ he will wait until the tax case is lost ]

  11. bournesouprecipe says:


    3 December, 2011 at 11:51



    I would say realism rather than cynisism. We need to sell in January as well as buy to get a better balance within the squad. We have too many players who play in the same positions (e.g. central midfield, right back) and a shortage of players in others (e.g. striker, left back).


    Selling a midfielder isn’t being negative its logical that you reduce numbers in areas of strength and increase number in areas of weakness. If we sold Kayal for example (& I am not saying we should sell him specifically) and signed an experienced central defender, that should strengthen us at the back but wouldn’t significantly weaken us in midfield.


    We have too many players, we are high on quantity, low in quality and I’m sure the manager knows this and is trying to remedy it.

  12. Whyte’s plan seems to be to pay out as little as possible as late as possible. Now part of this is to keep the cashflow positive. But if he is going to liquidate at some stage it makes sense from his point of view to have as much cash about the place as possible – so he can get his grubby hands on it.

  13. Scott Brown is a good player, as is Majstorovic, as is Paddy McCourt.



    As a character, though, he is unique at Celtic. Rather than the indisciplined hothead of lazy caricatures, I see him as a player who injects momentum into our attacks, someone capable of riling the opposition and who isn’t averse to mixing it with the hatchet men of the SPL. If the majority of our players are tied to the angels, Scott Brown is friendly with the devils.



    With Ledley and, very possibly, Wanyama out tomorrow, he should be in the team, but not at the expense of Forrest or Samaras. Put him in the centre with Kayal – a very strong partnership.



    Loovens is showing signs of the first stage of Dutch Elm **shaky demeanour**. If Wanyama recovers, put him in defence alongside Majstorovic. Otherwise:



    ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Zaluska ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::



    Matthews :::::::: Wanyama ::::::::: Majstorovic :::::::: Mulgrew



    Forrest ::::::::::::: Brown :::::::::::::: Kayal ::::::::::: Samaras



    :::::::::::::::::::::: Hooper :::::::::::: Stokes :::::::::::::::::::::

  14. up_over_goal says:


    3 December, 2011 at 12:05



    ‘Rather than the indisciplined hothead of lazy caricatures,’





    No rash challenges then?



    No pointless fouls?

  15. Mullet and Co



    ‘Lafferty says sectarianism won’t drive him out’



    So he’s staying at Ibrox then…




    Would you please respond to my earlier post to you?




    TinyTim says:


    3 December, 2011 at 11:13


    Ernie Lynch



    What is your intuitive understanding of the heritage, traditions and ethos that make the Club unique and special ?







  17. 67Heaven ... I am Neil Lennon..!! Tick Tock !! on

    Ernie…..Are you Kev in disguise……..? ……….or do you just sit in the same ‘room of doom’……..?

  18. Som mes que un club on

    Gordon_J backing Neil Lennon says:


    3 December, 2011 at 11:51


    It’s weeks since the huns have had a penalty – what’s the odds today?






    C/o Paddy Power



    Penalty Scored?



    90 Mins Only



    Yes 21/10




    Like you Gordon, I also feel it’s only a matter of when, not if.

  19. Re Scott Brown




    I would have preferred that we sold him ,and recouped some of the vast amount of our budget that he has taken up since his signing.



    Hopefully him signing again will give us an opportunity to do that,and he can fulfill the expectations that we had for him.



    He has disappointed more often than he has fulfilled.




  20. ernie lynch



    Yes, he has made the odd rash challenge – the one last season against Motherwell springs to mind – but under Lennon, his disciplinary record has been good. He pushes the nevelope sometimes but in my opinion he skirts just on the right side of the law. We lack players like that at Celtic, and we need to have them as we play in a league, like it or not, where that style of play is very much part of the game.



    If you look at a player like Ki, he’s committed a substantial number of clumsy fouls, something people wouldn’t associate with him when they attempt to stereotype.



    Kayal and Wanyama are our best tacklers in the middle, but Scott enables us to play at the high tempo demanded by Neil Lennon. Even a McCourt fan like me can see that :-)

  21. Br\o/gan R\o/gan Trevin\o/ and H\o/gan says:


    3 December, 2011 at 11:15



    Thanks for that great bit of Celtic nostalgia.


    I remember Rolando with great affection from his time in the shadow of the great Willie Miller. Those who told you that Miller was the best custodian they ever saw were not exaggerating. I have always rated him as just that, certainly until the arrival of the Holy Goalie.


    I often visited Armadale in my mis-spent former life as a ‘duggie’ man


    & a visit to Ugolini’s chippy was something of a pilgrimage for me.


    A lovely man who COULD have been a Celtic legend.


    I hope he is still going strong & wish him all the happiness he so richly deserves.



    Thanks again for the lovely memories.

  22. Hi all,



    Got an email from a friend explaining the financial bail out of the Eurozone/Greece/Italy (or even Rangers I suppose.)



    For those who I haven’t passed it on to (memory is a bit weak at the moment) here it is…..



    How the financial bail out works



    Hail Hail




  23. I wonder if Scott Brown would get booked as often if he played for someone else, say some tax dodgin mob for example……



    He used to be pretty ‘hot headed’ at hibs. But I think he really calmed down, and played much smarter with us. Sure, he does sometimes get too involved, but then didnt players like Roy Keane and our own Neil Lennon? You just cant be a midfield ‘enforcer’, and not have side that is hard to tame.



    But I would say a lot, maybe even half his bookings, have been given by over zelous, card happy, hun lovin mibs. I mean, booked for having the audacity to score a screamer at Ibrox and then celebrate…….



    That said, we dont seem to play too well when he is in the middle. So its hard to see how we play Scott Brown and James Forrest.



    I am sure there were some statistics? (I know, statistics lies etc, but anyway), they showed that we lost more games when he was out the team, than games we lost when he played.



    I do know one thing, he looks like the type of guy I would rather have on my team, than play against. And I am sure, that if they could have bought him, that he would have been booked a hell of a lot less, and caused us some problems.

  24. good afternoon bhoys and ghirls!



    just thought i would share some details of a conversation i had earlier today, with a very good friend of a member of the rangers coaching staff.



    i was informed that Mr Jelavic “has not been the same player recently on the training ground”.



    He “seems to have lost interest ” and “looks like hes in a huff”



    Also “new striker being watched ” by scouts.



    Make of it what you want, i say!



    hail hail

  25. .



    If Scott Brown Had signed for The Huns his Nickname on CQN would have been..



    Scott Unbookable Since 2007 Brown..aka..The New Bazza Fergushun..



    His Disciplinary record is Bad because he Plays in Paradise..






    PS..And the People on Here who Love Him would Hate Him..And the People who Hate Him on Here would Love Him..

  26. And the biggest bonus of all for me… Scott Brown is a Scotsman, not of the Roman Church, who does not give a tosh about the Roman Church or religion, not that he contempt’s or prejudices it, but just that he wants to play football, devoid of all baggage, for the team that in his heart that he wants to play for; never forgetting as he said when he signed on in the first place… every football player in Scotland wants to play for Celtic. “Wants to play for Celtic”



    “Wants to play for Celtic”



    “Wants to play for Celtic”



    “Wants to play for Celtic”



    “Every football player in Scotland wants to play for Celtic.”




    Scott Brown could have had Huttonish wages, and some ,had he moved to England. Scott Brown decided home is worth more than coin. After all his is the Celtic Captain, how much is that worth.

  27. Ernie Lynch



    See the 2-2 Scottish Cup game v the orcs.



    Also the replay when the thug Bartley tried to cripple him after a minute. Scott got up, smiled, and we won the game. There has been a concerted media campaign against Brown, and while not suggesting that you have fallen for it, the facts re our win percentage with him in as opposed to out of the team are revealing.




  28. Can HMRC get their filthy mitts on the 2.8m arrested pounds if hun FC have reappealed that bill ?



    If not does that money sitting in the bank revert to protected creditors in the event of an insolvency event related to the big tax bill ?



    As the big tax bill appeal decision will be reappealed. Is the 2.8m being protected by Whyte in case they can’t sell any players this Jan window.



    Certainly helps with the AGM which Craig Whyte will sail through aided by the LL.



    By that time the SFA will have approved Whyte.



    This is the last home game for the hun this year providing a much needed cash boost.



    Who is the mib at mordor today ?



    I reckon a 5.0 win today bearing in mind January’s fire sale.



    I hope Davis and or Jelavic pick up a 10 week injury today.



    Congratulations to Lenny resigning his captain.




  29. Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo says:


    3 December, 2011 at 12:33



    I hope Davis and or Jelavic pick up a 10 week injury today.




    Dirtymac likes this

  30. Asset management.



    When aspiring players who have performed well for us are sold,we have been told that it was good asset management by the club,and Peter Lawell. E.G. Aiden and Petrov.



    When we have to give away players for knock down prices,for free and even sometimes help pay for the players to move on,then this is surely poor asset management.



    I believe neither.



    If players play well, richer clubs from richer leagues will want to buy them.



    If they don’t play well,then we are left with them.



    The fact that nobody from a richer league has knocked down Celtics or Scott Browns door tells us all we need to know about how he has performed so far in a Celtic jersey.