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. themightyquinn on

    PAUL 67



    Furthermore, you are highlighting parts of the rules to suit your agenda.



    i.e. “… and by the secretary” while ignoring the next few words “… or an accredited official of the club concerned”



    Lets not stoop to the huns level and be forthright in this.

  2. EyesWideOpen



    Strangely he didn’t take Alastair Johnston and the takeover committee at their word.



    Anyway, as I see it there are probably 4 potential stages to the old Rangers saga:



    1. Club spends more money than it has in pursuit of glory and ends up in financial difficulty. This is the standard footbal administration scenario a la Livingston, Motherwell, Dundee etc. and is not great but isn’t exactly unheard of.


    2. Club cheats taxpayer out of tens of millions of pounds to sign fancy players. Starting to get a bit iffy here.


    3. Club fails to register players properly to support aforementioned tax dodge, fielding these players in hundreds of matches and winning numerous trophies as a result. This is dodgy. No question.


    4. Club colludes with footballing authorities to cover up tax cheating and false registration of players. Oh dear.



    Currently the MSM have accepted stage 1 and are only flirting with stage 2 pending the outcome of the FTT. If only the internet wasn’t full of bampots they could just leave it there.

  3. Tim Malone Will Tell on

    One thing that bugs me is this jpg of the redacted EBT letter.



    Can we assume that the individuals or body in posession of a copy have a version without the names ‘blacked out’?



    If so, why are the likes of ‘The Sun’ not pursuing the signatory at the bottom of the letter with a bit of vim and vigour?



    If they dont have an ‘unedited’ copy – just how good a piece of evidence is it?



    …or do HMRC have the ‘unedited’ copies and the version in circulation is leaked or stolen and those in posession are wary of prosecution? Or did HMRC deliberately leak a copy of the document (with details blacked out) for their own reasons?



    Or is it a bit of made up pash?

  4. Gordon_J backing Neil Lennon on 14 March, 2012 at 14:44 said:





    Murray apparently said that the redacted letters were just drafts. They were never actually used … honest guv.



    So that he is really saying is “Honest guv a big Bhoy nearly done it but ran away before he did”

  5. The Spirit of Arthur Lee on




    In Russia I am Ivan, in England I am John.


    In Germany I’m Johan, In Sweden I am Jan



    The old storybook

  6. wonkyradar on 14 March, 2012 at 15:01 said:


    A bond is my word…sounds like a fairytale.



    Imagine trusting that odd regiment of weird brothers we know as the hun board members on the currency of their word! A word of that lots would be as useful as a ten franc bit!




    like questioning the integrity of a referee,Hugh Dallas’s catch phrase.

  7. traditionalist88 on

    Moon unit



    (from previous article)



    do you think this is easy for any of us




  8. The Battered Bunnet on




    The goodness of their heart was very good indeed.



    In 2006 alone, Rangers gifted their players and staff a whopping £9.2 Million in EBT contributions, representing 60% of the declared payroll that year.



    It clearly wasn’t paid as a success bonus, as that year they failed to reach any cup finals and finished 3rd in the league, unless of course success is deemed to be a top 6 place.

  9. Steinreignedsupreme on

    maldoncelt on 14 March, 2012 at 14:52 said:



    Murray doesn’t have to go to any great lengths to deflect anything – he snaps his fingers and his sycophants in the Scottish media do what he asks.



    His biggest problem last night would have been explaining to his wife how his backside came to be covered in love bites.

  10. To paraphrase Borges:



    The legal battle over the soul of rankers is like six bald men fighting over a comb.

  11. Sorry Paul, missed the `new article posted’. From last –






    I have in my possession the ORIGINAL £1 coin that was used by Craig Whyte to purchase Rangers (IA) from Sir David Murray.



    It comes complete with a letter of authenticity signed by Mr White!



    Said item is in `minty’ condition.



    Due to unforseen circumstances this item is for sale to the highest bidder/consortium.



    Bids can be made at – ticketyblue@seacreature.com



    Only serious bidders with unfathomable wealth considered!



    Closing date – High noon, 16th March 2012.






    PS. Hurry while stocks last.

  12. RaRaRasputin



    SFA/RFC are like an old Scooby Doo villian:



    “I could have gotten away with it if it weren’t for those pesky internet bampots”




  13. No7, agree, it will need Uefa to get things moving.



    JamsieBhoy, all smoke and mirrors.



    Big Nan, tha paypal button! My big time and I don’t have the paypal button!! Them’s the breaks.



    MWD, cheers.



    voguepunter, we’ll see.



    RogueLeader, I thought the floating pitch was already installed.



    Awe Naw, life isnt’ fair when it comes to liberal use of heavy type.



    Celtic Mac, it is a wee bit humiliating to all of us that it took a London journo to come up and sort things out.



    Greenjedi, ‘uttering’!! I missed an open goal there.



    mearns 2 milton, Celtic’s view will depend on what happens. They will not, of course, fold, in the huff at not getting their own way, as some have suggested, but I know they are eager.



    RaRaRasputin, yes.



    Celtic_First, thanks.



    gerryguk7, cheers.



    themightyquinn, aye, but the contract The Sun printed had payments for appearances. Clear-cut from my standing.



    As for “ignoring the next few words”. I used bold on the word “secretary”, this was relevant to my earlier article, far from ignoring the next few words I typed the entire phrase, including the words you said I ignored.



    Only the absolutely dim would be misled.



    Folly Folly, cheers.



    ASonOfDan, indeed.



    hen1rik, of course they are doomed, if only the SFA would investigate.



    Chairbhoy, sounds like it.



    neveralone, well said.

  14. Gordon_J @ 14:57,



    Yes these discretionary payments had nought to do with Football, right.



    Interesting that no one reviewing these contracts at the SPL noticed RFC international superstars were on less than St Mirren U21 Reserves second goalkeepers partime maid.

  15. MonTheHoops.co.uk ‏ @MTHForum


    Reply RetweetedRetweet




    FavoritedFavorite · Close Open Details The Fighting Fund raises £30,000 in 24 hours, just enough to barely cover the administrators daily bill. Now what?

  16. On 22nd February 2012 BBC reported that the SPL were investigating sectarian singing by rangers fans in their match with Kilmarnock on 18th February.


    Now,on 14th March 2012,some 25 days after the event what have we heard?


    What action,if any,has been taken?


    Exactly what is required to conduct a meaningful investigation into these allegations?


    Does it require anything more complicated or time consuming than taking statements from the officials present and a listen to the audio recording of the game?


    If it takes 25 days (and counting) for the SPL to conduct such a seemingly straightforward investigation,how long will they take to conduct an investigation into whether players have been properly registered or not?


    Questions worth asking?

  17. Voguepunter:






    Or allowing Camp-bell Ogilvie to become president of the SFA?

  18. Glendalystonsils likes a mr whippy with his lime green jelly on

    Unfortunately, Alex Salmond was right, Ruingers are part of the fabric of Scottish society. It is a fabric which has Masonic ,anti-Irish sectarianism running through every weft and weave. Organisations such as the SNP, SPL, SFA and the media illustrate quite clearly how this operates.


    It looks increasingly as though we will require EUFA intervention to overcome these obstacles to justice and fair play.

  19. Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo on




    I hope your not accusing me of being a liberal ;-)



    Hail Hail

  20. The Battered Bunnet on

    In the Herald, it is claimed that Murray described the Sun’s published draft as a ‘Letter of Intent’ not a contract.



    Fair enough, let’s run with that:



    “We intend to pay you the follwoing amounts on the following dates if you are a Rangers player on these dates”



    Were the payments made as intended?



    “”We intend to pay you £1200 everytime you take to the field in a competitive match. We intend that will pay you this in arrears on the last business day of December and May each year.”



    Were the payments made as intended?



    “We intend that if the EBT scheme is no longer available, we will pay these sums on these dates by some other satisfactory means”



    As soon as the first criterion is met, and a payment is made, there is no longer any doubt, if there was any at all, that intention has become obligation.




  21. pabloh_AKA_NEIL LENNON on

    Excellent piece P67.



    Glad we have someone to keep us in the know ;-)

  22. Rangers Tax-Case ‏ @rangerstaxcase


    Reply RetweetedRetweet




    FavoritedFavorite · Close Open Details David Murray’s “categorically no dual contracts” is rubbish. Doubtless SDM will have a novel definition of “contract” at his disposal.

  23. Rangers Tax-Case ‏ @rangerstaxcase


    Reply RetweetedRetweet




    FavoritedFavorite · Close Open Details We have 2 ex-RFC employees saying “2 contracts” exist. We have one for a Dutch ex-player published for all to see. Who do you believe?

  24. I would think it most unlikely the SPL/SFA decision on multiple undeclared contractural arrangements will be published before the end of the league season.



    The words of the Hibs owner/director (Rob Petrie???) from the BBC ‘debate’ come to mind. He talked of ‘integrity’ which some commentators on this site took to mean he was against a SPL Newco.



    Although I too think that is his view he ,was really talking about liquidation during this season and the effects it would have on the relative position of teams in the SPL if results against RFCIA were discounted. Perhaps a team would fall out of the top six which otherwise would not have etc.



    Similarly, it seems to me, should the SPL find against RFCIA mid season and zero their points and some players were banned from playing remaining games the balance of fairness which the league needs would inevitably be skewed & corrupted.



    So, unless they can’t avoid it, don’t expect any conclusion nor decision until May.



    Unless of course they ask Timmy to move on: nothing to see, nothing to see.

  25. Rangers Tax-Case ‏ @rangerstaxcase


    Reply RetweetedRetweet




    FavoritedFavorite · Close Open Details Definition: “contract”, noun- “an agreement enforceable by law”. Rangers’ players- lots of them- has 2 contracts.

  26. Murray reminded me yesterday of a ex-president saying “I did not have sexual relations with that woman”



    Aye right, Cigar anyone?

  27. pabloh_AKA_NEIL LENNON on




    Arthur numan?? His name popped up a few times on the blog did it not?



    I always wondered how they managed to sign these Dutch internationalists, especially him.

  28. Steinreignedsupreme on

    gerryguk7 on 14 March, 2012 at 15:02 said:



    I think you are giving the MSM an easy time there.



    You have to remember these people peddled stories about an £850m redevelopment of Ibrox when it was common knowledge Murray did not have a pot to pee in, they claimed Walter Myth was operating with one-hand tied behind his back when he had infact spent almost £40m, and talked about warchests for Billy Bunter from a ‘Billionaire’ everyone on here knew was a total chancer.



    The media deserve all the stick they get. Yesterday’s events are further proof that none of these jokers are worth a light.

  29. Whatever turn the Rangers Saga takes, the goose is cooked. Whether it be over a roaring, open fire (hidden contracts/invalid registration), in the oven at a medium temperature (Big Tax Case), or going a bit rubbery in the microwave (unsustainable business/Whyte wanting his pound of flesh).



    The MSM can put any spin on this that they like. We all know you can’t polish a turd, you can only roll it glitter.



    My post has now left me simultaneously needing a poo and being hungry.

  30. Agent Craig "Green and" Whyte!! on

    MWD on 14 March, 2012 at 15:07 said:


    Surely it wont really matter as they should have be relegated every season they used 2 contracts.


    So they shouldn’t have been in the spl this season anyway.


    How and when the spl relegate them…who know’s.


    The fact the wrong club has been relegated for the last 15-20 years shows how their cheating has had massive effects not just on the park.Clubs going down a division leading to administration, players wages dropping to suit sfl div1 costing them money, etc


    A BIG massive can of worms.

  31. If a debt of 170 Million Euros is them being strict with their finances…



    Real Madrid CF wishes to say the following in response to press reports regarding the oustanding debt of football club’s with the Spanish Inland Revenue up to 1 January 2012:



    – Real Madrid CF promptly satisfies all its fiscal obligations, meaning the club had no outstanding debt with the Spanish Inland Revenue or the Social Security by 30 June 2011 (end date of the previous fiscal year) nor by 1 January 2012.



    – As an entity that must sustain its activities with its own revenue, Real Madrid CF manages its finances efficiently and with discipline, which translates into a large cash flow and a strict control of debt levels.



    – At the close of the fiscal year on 30 June 2011, the Net Financial Debt of Real Madrid was of 170 million euros, equivalent to a debt to EBITDA ratio of 1.1 that positions Real Madrid as a first rate company regarding solvency and credit quality according to this metric, which is one of the most widely used in the financial world.

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