Improper player registration. Where are we and what next?


It is 13 days since Celtic Quick News first raised a concern that the SFA were not investigating the alleged improper registration of football players by Rangers FC for a period of over a decade.  Our central concern was:

Allegations of players having two contracts had been repeated in the media but it was not known if both alleged contracts were submitted to the SFA in accordance with Player Registration Rules.  As fans, we had no authority to check, but with an SFA inquiry into Rangers convened, this seemed like an excellent opportunity to demand answers.

We had two secondary concerns:

The scope of the inquiry led by Lord Nimmo Smith was not made public, nor was there any commitment to make the findings public.

SFA president, Campbell Ogilvie, as a SFA board member, was due to receive the report and could have been in a position to influence the scope of the inquiry.  Ogilvie was general secretary and director of Rangers from 1978 until 2005, presenting a clear conflict of interest, which the SFA had not acknowledged.

Subsequent events have moved beyond the association:

The SFA have confirmed Nimmo Smith’s report will not investigate the alleged improper registration of players at Rangers but they have left the door open to a future inquiry into the matter.

The Scottish Premier League have not been so lax and will now investigate the alleged improper registration of players.  We can perhaps imply that only one contract per player has been lodged with them.

The Sun and Daily Mail have produced a redacted (second) contract and evidence from a former Rangers director respectively.

Despite the issue being reported throughout all media channels, no one from Rangers, past or present, has denied the existence of the second contracts, or claimed player registrations were valid.

What next:

We await the SPL inquiry.

If found guilty, some punishments are clear.  Playing an improperly registered player in any match invalidates the result of the game.  A 3-0 win is retrospectively awarded to the opponent.  Always.  Just as your history books do not record Ben Johnson as Olympic 100m champion for 1988, Scottish football records would be changed.

An offense such as this would be “literally off the scale” to borrow a phrase.  The SPL and SFA would need to decide on an appropriate penalty.  Sport does not provide many good reference points for behaviour on this scale (Johnson was banned for three years).

The HMRC v Rangers tax tribunal and current financial plight of the club remain huge issues but, if found to be valid, the improper registration of footballers over such a long period has the potential to be the biggest story in the history of Scottish football. The SFA must initiate an immediate inquiry.

Everyone else must simply wonder, what next?

I would like to be the first to congratulate Dundee United on their 2008 League Cup win.

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  1. The Hugh Adams’ revelations show that, prior to EBT’s, the huns had been engaged in blatant tax evasion for many years.



    Surely this will have to be considered by the Tribunal, or be part of an appeal by HMRC should thems prevail.

  2. paul67



    A few points this mornin



    1 fergus should unfurl the flag as he deserves to



    2 rangers are a disease that needs to be cut out of scottish football



    3 strange meeting yesterday by the spl is this a newco move



    4 Tom english spot on last night independent inquiry needed


    as our governing bodies are not fit for purpose



    5 is the sfl going to investigate pre 1998 titles



    an excellent article paul nail on the head

  3. Havingapartycsc aka mouldy67 on

    Off the scale cheating


    Off the scale tax evasion


    Off the scale Fraud ?

  4. SmashingMilkBottles on

    If Bigotdome game goes ahead then we can sing once more the happy 98 song ” Cheerio to 10 in a row” albeit this time we change it to their tainted 9.

  5. The Token Tim on

    The silence from ex-huns, be it players, managers or board members, re Adam’s comments is deafening!



    The rest of the world is only now apparently, finding out what we have all known for years: that Rangers FC (In Administration) is an organisation with cheating in its DNA.



    Take them down for every penny they owe, strip them of every tainted “honour” and scourge them from the record and history books!






  6. Paul,



    I copy below my response to hen1rik earlier today. I believe the crux of the matter takes us back to the very start: are the EBTs being used for contractual payments. If yes, then the tax case has blown up and the 2nd contracts saga can begin in earnest.


    If no, then no case to answer on the EBT tax case, and neither on the 2nd contracts allegation. (Of course, this doesn’t put them in the clear, there’s still the VAT payments to deal with and the very basic premise of costs<=revenue).



    I work in an area where I come into contact with EBTs on a semi-regular basis. What we should all remember is that EBTs are not meant for contractual payments – and if this is the case, my understanding is that it would be correct for Rangers not to disclose the information to the SFA (non-contracted payment, therefore no need to disclose).



    BUT, we should not forget that the reason Rangers and HMRC went to court in the first instance was to discuss whether the EBTs were being used for contractual payments. Now, if Rangers lose this case, then the information should have been disclosed to the SFA, as it was indeed a payment for contractual duties, and as such, the SFA must be informed of it.



    Reading the contract that was printed in the Sun newspaper leaves my mind in no doubt that the payments were for contractual duties directly related to football matters, and therefore, was inappropriate for an EBT use, as well as should have been disclosed to the SFA.

  7. Someone in the media with cajones should stick a microphone under Sallys chin at his next press conference and ask him if he is aware of players and staff at RFC having 2 contracts



    That should wipe the perma grin of his cheeky chappie face

  8. Reposted from yesterday- Party at Swindon Town FC (party hats optional).


    A shout out to anyone in the Swindon area and beyond. There is a Charity ‘ An Evening with John Hartson’ event at Swindon Town FC on Thursday 22nd March 7pm. Price is £15 per ticket which includes supper, comedian and auction including Celtic items. Proceeds go to Great Western Hospital Breast Cancer Unit.



    Spoke to the organiser last night who said she contacted him as he was a friend of a friend. She said he could not have been more accomodating and willing to help the unit. Speaks volumes for the guy.



    Would be good to show BBJ the Celtic support in the area and what we think of a guy who donned the hoops and is now one us. If interested please leave a message on here and I will get Paul to send me your email.

  9. philvisreturns on

    If justice is done, The Real Hustle FC will be left with just a bottle of Lucozade, an old bike, and several rusting cans of Pledge in their trophy room, which will then be demolished to make way for a new Tesco. (thumbsup)

  10. Neil canamalar Lennon hunskelper extrordinaire on

    Proof positive that Scotland is institutionally sectarian

  11. Mark \o/ McGhee's \o/ Eyeliner \o/ AKA Mark Guidi on




    Cheers for that image :-)



    Hail hail




  12. Billy’s Bhoy, I hear you.



    Sheik Yerbouti, I hear you.



    emsh, indeed.



    McGhee’s \o/ Eyeliner, you’re welcome.

  13. seventyxseven 'gelee et glace' on




    Yeh, maybe the google ad was aimed at me, but only because I live in Switzerland, not because I want to diddle the taxman!!

  14. Paul, so that’s how you find the time! Write the articles whilst on the Cludgie!




  15. Every cloud has silver lining ….



    If this had been our 17th league title in a row………. think of all the hangovers we have avoided …… think of the domestic abuse crimes that have been avoided …… any more?

  16. Paul 67



    “Everyone else must simply wonder, what next?”



    The only thing left is the refs and SFA collusion with RFC

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