Improper registration issue closes in on Murray


Sir David Murray and former Rangers director, Mike McGill, who is also a director of Murray International Holdings, gave a press briefing yesterday.  Much of what Murray said relates to his disappointment at the actions of Craig Whyte, whom he sold Rangers to last year.  Throughout the years Rangers were for sale Murray maintained he would only sell to someone with Rangers best interests at heart.  Whyte has, by many accounts, fallen short on this measure, however, it is far from clear that Sir David had much choice in the matter.

The club were dependant on the support of Lloyds Banking Group and had a potential liability of around £49m to HM Revenue and Customs hanging over them.  Whyte offered Lloyds the opportunity to relieve themselves of crica £18m of debt, potentially rising to nearly £70m, which would have subsequent consequences for Rangers budget and earning potential.  When you are £70m in debt with contracted structural costs which cannot be changed quickly, while income can vary on the bounce of a ball, £80m is within touching distance.  In truth, it could be argued that even Lloyds, 43% owned by the taxpayer, had little choice but to force through the sale.

Murray will take responsibility for putting the business into the position if was when Craig Whyte’s £1 offer won the day.  He and his board elected to utilise the Employee Benefit Trust (EBT) that has caused so much turmoil.  He and his board elected to press ahead with multi-million pound player purchases after HMRC first raised the alarm about EBTs in 2010, instead making immediate cutbacks to provide for a potential loss of the First Tier Tribunal.

What Murray said about the on-going tax case or Craig Whyte is irrelevant.  Let’s instead take a look at what was said about player payments.

Murray said:

“There was no double contract. There was categorically no dual contracts.”

“What I would say is this. We went through 10 AGMs. We signed off accounts by Grant Thornton, the remuneration trust was always mentioned in the account. It was never hidden, and that’s a fact.”

Accept there was no double contract, thank you.

Accept the remuneration trusts were mentioned in the accounts and not hidden, this is, indeed “a fact”.

Mike McGill, said:

“The other, larger [EBT] scheme, started in 2001, involves a payment into an offshore trust, but there is no contractual entitlement on the part of the players.

“The whole basis of an EBT arrangement is that there is not a contractual entitlement. That is key to the defence, and key to the allegations made by the SFA [sic].”

Accept there was no contractual entitlement on the part of the players.

The EBTs not being subject to contractual entitlement is “key to the defence, and key to the allegations made by the SFA”.

Ah.  We’re getting somewhere.

Scottish Premier League, Rule D 9.3:

“No Player may receive any payment of any description from or on behalf of a Club in respect of that Player’s participation in Association Football or in an activity connected with Association Football, other than in reimbursement of expenses actually incurred or to be actually incurred in playing or training for that Club, unless such payment is made in accordance with a Contract of Service between that Club and the Player concerned.”

Scottish Football Association, Articles of Association, Article 12.1:

“Furthermore, all payments, whether made by the club or otherwise, which are to be made to a player solely relating to his playing activities must be fully recorded within the relevant written agreement with the player prior to submission to this Association and/or the recognised football body of which his club is in membership.”

The SFA’s Registrations Procedures go on to state:

Rule 2.2.1

Unless lodged in accordance with Procedures Rule 2.13 a Non-Recreational [professional]Contract Player Registration Form will not be valid unless it is accompanied by the contract entered into between the club concerned and the player stating all the terms and conditions in conformity with the Procedures Rule 4.

Rule 4

Such agreement shall be signed by the player and by the secretary or an accredited official of the club concerned and shall be witnessed by 2 other parties and lodged with the Secretary [of the SFA]together with the Form.

If Mr McGill is correct that players not having a contractual entitlement to EBT payments is key to the defence in the SPL inquiry (or SFA as Mr McGill suggests), it would appear that corresponding player registrations are not valid.

No Player may receive any payment of any description unless such payment is made in accordance with a Contract of Service.

All payments, whether made by the club or otherwise, made to a player relating to his playing activities must be fully recorded within the relevant written agreement with the player prior to submission to the SFA.

No matter how often the SFA president and former Rangers directors brief journalists on issues which sound a bit like the Improper Registration of Players allegation, but are, in fact, the on-going tax case, this matter is not going away. The Association are now actively involved in this matter, as Alex Thomson of Channel 4 News and Chick Young of the BBC testified to yesterday, but not in the way you would expect.

In football parlance, they are competent to investigate this matter and to provide subsequent appeals process if required, and have a duty to do so at the earliest opportunity. SPL football will resume on Saturday and we require clarity on who is, or is not, correctly registered to play.

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  1. Wierd theory time.



    Two threads are being talked about here:



    Kris Commons and his weight problem; and


    Zheng Zhi and his ineligibility problem



    Could they both be connected? Was Zheng Zhi dressed up as Kris Commons last year to circumvent his ineligibility problem and unable to do so this year which is why we see the “real” Kris Commons this year.



    Has anyone seen them both in the same room?




  2. Auld Neil Lennon heid on 14 March, 2012 at 14:11 said:



    Thanks ,apologise? can’t see it.


    Hail hail

  3. philvisreturns on

    Mort – Have you seen “Die Another Day”?



    Not the Rangers story, the James Bond film.



    Maybe Zheng Zhi had plastic surgery to make himself seem Common. (thumbsup)

  4. The Lizard King on

    Wonkyradar – do you need to see the whole of the moon for it to mess yer waters up? My hypotheses based on the scientifically significant population of the Moon Bhoy is “No”.







  5. Paul67.



    Great article. My fear is that its going to need UEFA involvement and may lead to Scottish clubs being banned from Europe.

  6. Keep up the pressure Paul. I thought that Murray’s display yesterday was pathetic. “I was duped”, aye right, 2 mins on google and he would have sussed the Green & Whyte knight out. He just wanted rid and now he is trying to say a big boy done it and ran away.

  7. There are many things to be said for The SFA : none of them printable,all of them libelous.


    They are beneath contempt & would be laughable but for the damage they & their favoured ‘club’,Ragers,are doing to football in Scotland.


    ( there..i’ve actually said something about them that won’t get me into trouble)

  8. The Lizard King on

    David Murray and Mike McGill provide further proof that Ogilvie is correct (from his point of view) to keep his mouth shut.







  9. Just in case anyone was thinking of driving from Falkirk to the ticket office to get tickets for the final, without checking first, the cup final tickets are all sold out.!

  10. Keep at it Paul you are playing a binder.



    Oh and get the PayPal button back on you deserve to be remunerated for your efforts. You are worth more than the red top rags that’s for sure.

  11. Paul67



    Unless we find a second contract with Murray’s slebbers (DNA sample)


    on it ,this guys gonna walk.

  12. Paul67 – Did any of the assembled poodles ask Minty how the plans were coming along for that floating pitch?



    It is risible they print anything that comes from his mouth. Their laziness has clearly overtaken their wit.

  13. Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo on




    How can you bold but we cant ?



    P8ddy will be dumbstruck !!



    Hail Hail

  14. South Of Tunis on

    Sir Minty was always very keen to big up the troubles he’d seen and seen off in his life. .



    He may find it difficult to overcome being trapped in a double bind –



    Dammed if he did.



    Dammed if he didn’t..



    It is all so improper.

  15. Paul67 et al



    It is not surprising that the likes of “Sir” David Murray and Campbell Ogilvie get such an easy time in Scotland when you see the quality of journalists in front of them. Handpicked patsies like James Traynor who substituted “succulent lamb” for integrity and wee Chic Young, who even when he finds himself in the shallow end, is in too deep!

  16. Beware The Ides of March…..for it’s today.


    I await further revelations re. the comedy duos, Murray & Whyte, Ogilvie & Regan.

  17. Paul



    Is this mibbie what your article “Uttering” was in preparation for?




  18. Silver City Neil Lennon on

    I thought a verbal agreement could constitute a contract. The main problem with that is proving its existence. If one party was good enough to provide a side letter however and what was printed on the letter was what actually happened… where’s the argument?

  19. BABASONICOS71 on

    voguepunter on 14 March, 2012 at 14:31 said:





    Unless we find a second contract with Murray’s slebbers (DNA sample)


    on it ,this guys gonna walk.






    Surely that would be a miracle?

  20. The Battered Bunnet on

    I think Sunday provides a perfect opportunity to tell the Scottish Football League how much we admire their set up.

  21. Will Minty be suing the Sun Newspaper for fabricating a redacted 2nd contract???



    I think not.

  22. mearns 2 milton on

    Paul67 – Another very informative piece, well done. IF the SPL/SFA were not to follow the rules of the game or perhaps let Rangers away with their crimes, do you know what our clubs stance would be? What would your thoughts be on this?

  23. Good stuff Paul. There is a game coming up on Saturday lunch-time that is of vital importance to Rangers, Dundee Utd., Motherwell, St. Johnstone and Hearts. As it stands there are serious questions about the eligibility of a number of players set to play in this game.



    Good job the SPL and SFA are all over this one like a rash.

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