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. gerryguk7gerryguk7 @ 14:46



    There is a small, but vocal, faction on this blog who have never forgiven the board’s decision to get rid of Zheng Zhi and so simply behave as though he was still at the club.



    Ridiculous, I know, but that is the mentality of these people.



    Anyway, I’m looking forward to seeing how Stephane Bonnes copes against Kilmarnock’s redoubtable defence in this weekend’s Cup Final.

  2. Anyone else up for a final game of moonbeam bingo for old times sakes? I think we’ll be hearing much from Murray in the future.

  3. SSN



    Finance guy on dissing SDMs claim that he was duped.



    “They clearly did not due the appropriate checks.”



    “Big tax issue will mean no serious bid is viable.”



    “Lack of clarity over who owns Ibrox & Minty Park means np serious bid is viable”



    “This Friday deadline should not be taken seriously”



    “Impossible to conclude the right deal is possible while major matters remain outstanding”



    “CW apparently on the run from the French Police, best if the UK authorities take ownership of his [passport”



    OBVIOUSLY this guy is not Scottish nor under anyone’s influence.



    Apologies – I missed his name

  4. The Battered Bunnet on




    I’ll hear none of that.



    Meantime, are you popping across to Mount Florida on Sunday? A few meeting for a chinwag beforehand. Might be best to take a towel too, as there’s a Tsunami heading that way.




  5. thebhoywithmcgraininhisside on

    Hi all. Apologies I can’t do the bolding thing,



    “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” is an INCOME payment. It is therefore subject to INCOME tax.



    If the FTT rule that EBT’s are not subject to income tax then they are not subject to that article. This is rfc’s position. In this scenarion the side letters are irrelevant as they can not have done what they purported to do. i.e pay players on a contractual basis because no income tax was ever due.



    This argument may not win the day but it would see the light of day in Court. The SPL will not go to court on this issue. They will agree with the FTT’s decision either way.



    The OF ANY DESCRIPTION part of the article refers to payments that are called wages, bonuses, appearance fees, etc… It is a lazy catch-all. The draftmen of the Articles, I don’t believe, had ebt’s in mind when they drafted the articles and I would wager that a Court would agree with this thesis.



    The side letters are of relevance to the FTT as they go to proving whether or not the ebts are income payments. From what I have seen and read it would appear likely that the letters do show this. Therefore, it is likely that the FTT will find rangers liable for PAYE and NIC payments.



    In this scenario then the letters are damning. They will show that rfc knew, or at the very least ought to have known, the real status of the ebt payments. They will show that rfc defrauded and deceived the spl, sfa, uefa, hmrc and all the clubs in europe over a period lasting, at the very least, 10-12 years.



    In short, keep the faith, the day is fast approaching.



    Hail Hail!

  6. In this day and age it is very difficult not to leave a paper trail or more increasingly a digital one either.



    Means. Opportunity. Motive.



    They have the means. Did they have the opportunity?



    Well we know about the motive. Nevertheless a conspiracy is a very difficult plot to pull off. A conspiracy is an orgy of the lie…and there are very many professional liars involved in this scam.

  7. “I’m a super Duper, Moonbeans no gonna find me, shining like a star…super duper!” (I think that was set in Glasgow)


    Well if our hero just hasn’t gone and duped the legend; the private jet owning, Jersey and Perth residing, purveyor of fine wines and lamb and the rest…aye ready…aye right!



    Oh how the press boys must have loved getting spoken down to and lectured about daring to be associated with any criticism of (Sir) Dave. Bring back memories boys?



    Chico’s performance was ‘hysterical’ last night, literally and metaphorically.

  8. FPLG:



    Whore without a pimp?



    Arms without a cashmere cardigan?



    A dummy without a tit…

  9. Tim Malone Will Tell on

    Does anyone know if it’s Campbell Ogilivie’s name at the foot of the EBT letter printed in the Sun?

  10. themightyquinn on




    All I’m saying here is nothing is clear cut, even though it seems obvious and there are arguments that any lawyer can use to try to beat this.



    I don’t want them to win and would love to be able to bray about their tainted titles.

  11. Paul


    Inmates over on FF are on to you! (thread was removed with only 2 posts)






    just read on newsnow.co.UK that sellick slow news is still banging away about players registrations


    sorry on mobile at work so cant post what they saw or link.


    if someone can copy this to this thread?





    Its not letting me paste it on mate.


    Basically looks at the Murray/McGill interview


    It takes appart what McGill says about payments to the trust fund (EBT)


    Then it looks at the SFA rules which state that NO payment of any sort can be made outwith the players contract. Basically saying that if any payment was made then the players contract would be invalid


    What about Bobo’s loyalty bonus?

  12. When i see someone buying a red top in a shop i think its a bit like a smoker buying his snout. I feel like taking them aside and advising them on the best methods for weaning themselves off the rag…

  13. Gordon_J


    Did Murray really say something like this:


    ” Murray said something along the lines of – Whyte was disqualified as a Director for seven years so it was hard to get any information on him.” ?


    Can you imagine your daughter`s boyfriend turns out to be a bit of a ned and you excuse is ; ” I couldn`t really get much information on him before. He was in jail for rape at the time.” Incredible.






    PS Sorry if that seems to trivialise rape, it is certainly not my intention.

  14. Hi Paul (and any other CQN old-timers), long time no post. It’s a pleasure to watch you applying the thumbscrews so deftly; I believe we’ll eventually get to the bottom of this morass, but it will take continued pressure from us all to stop the main players in all of this succeeding in their attempts at damage limitation.



    Your main point is well made: a lot of what is being said on this subject is hand-waving, designed to distract us from the fundamental truth that the EBT payments are explicitly banned by SFA regulations, whether or not they’re contractual. Nevertheless we shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that the case against Rangers will be strengthened yet further if the payments are found to have been contractual; and especially if the directors of Rangers knew them to be so. The FTT judgement is virtually certain to find against Rangers on the first point, and quite possibly on the second. RTC (person, not blog) has specifically claimed that the directors of Rangers received professional advice against their use of EBT payments several years ago.



    thebhoywithmcgraininhisside @ 15:29, I don’t agree with your thesis. Rule D 9.3 is very explicit in its description of “any payment of any description”, and is clearly intended to be a catch-all provision rather than a narrowly-defined one.



    If I lend you money, I must make a payment to you (or to a third party for your benefit), albeit I expect you to pay me back at some point.



    I conclude that monies transferred to Rangers players via an EBT are subject to article D 9.3, irrespective of their tax status.

  15. the saverankers fund is the most pathetic spectacle ever –


    for a professional football club it beggars belief-


    just met a gers fan earlier-thought him a decent bloke-


    nice wee ok chat until Neil Lennons name came up-he hates him…………….






    ………………………………..-like so many of theyre” decent” fans i tackled him -“Give me one reason why?”-he couldnt……………………………………………………………….


    ……this is a very common gersfan response in my experience- there is a no surrender thing going on in these peoples psyche-no need for explanations- the reed that bends that survives-CRRRRAACCCCKK!

  16. Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo on

    NeilR ,



    welcome back …. we could do with your know how on the blog these days more often.



    You have been missed sir



    Hail Hail

  17. The Lizard King on

    Since Feb 14th, (oh my sweet Valentine) it is astonishing that the Honest Mistakes have virtually dried up, bar Stokes not getting a penalty at Easter Road on 18th Feb. Funny that.



    Maybe that’s what the Fighting Fund is for? Given the players’ wages are going to the Administrators – what other costs are there (they ain’t payin’ no stinkin’ creditors)?







  18. “CW apparently on the run from the French Police, best if the UK authorities take ownership of his [passport”



    Just spat all over my screen and doubled up with laughter. How the hell I explain to my colleagues an item of work caused that I don’t know… :)

  19. The Battered Bunnet on

    Awe Naw



    NeilR was posting the gen on the RTC site for a while. I just cut, pasted and plagiarised it as my own work :¬)



    Welcome back Neil

  20. pabloh_AKA_NEIL LENNON on

    Sellik slow news – lol, yeh just your run of the mill 3 articles a day educating glasgow’s good half on facts. Yes facts, not tabloid nonsense.



    I’ve read the FF and Rangersmedia articles before, whoever writes them is either uneducated/drunk/bitter/bigoted or all of the above.



    I remember reading a story on Rangersmedia welcoming kris commons to ibrox. I don’t think they signed him did they? And FF seems more concerned with their anti kafflik tradition.



    Oh how to be educated…

  21. verdantvic on 14 March, 2012 at 15:44 said:



    Yes agreed, a boy a spoke to the other day said why doesn’t Lennon stay out of everyone’s business i hate him.



    Once the hoops bring home the silverware i will rub it in bhoys.



    Spoke to another hun and told him that Neil can be the 1st Manager to win treble as payer and Manager, oh you should’ve seen his face.

  22. Steinreignedsupreme on 14 March, 2012 at 15:19 said:


    fair enough on the “war-chest” and “casino/hotel/floating stadium” pash. They are as culpable as the enxt man for not laughing that off as the blatant nonsens it clearly was.



    However, when it comes to CW, I recall a great deal of difficulty in finally etsablishing his chequered past. Anonymity does provide a shield for what is posted on here; the MSM would have been taking risks to print anything more definitive much earlier than Mark Daly’s documentary.



    From a corporate point of view, and being a lawyer myself 9apologies) I can see why essentially sports outlets and journalists were restrained and cautious in their reporting. The extent to which they ought to be cautious/restrained is a question of degree, of course, but I think we have maybe been a bit harsh on them at times.

  23. !!Bada Bing!! Kano 1000 on

    Was in the Celtic Shop in EK this morning,they still had tickets for the St Johnstone game available.

  24. Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo on

    The Battered Bunnet on 14 March, 2012 at 15:48 sai



    Voguepunter will be raging !!!



    Hail Hail

  25. ZooKeepersSon on

    Gordon_J backing Neil Lennon on 14 March, 2012 at 14:57 said:


    What Murray and co want us to believe is that Rangers players were paid for playing football. They got a wage and probably bonuses for things like winning, scoring or even appearing in a match. And probably further bonuses if they won leagues and cups. And all of these payments, every last one of them, was detailed in a written statement of terms and conditions of employment that was duly lodged with the footballing authorities.



    But, totally seperate from the above, and purely out of the goodness of their hearts, the club also decided to make additional payments to players. And these gifts were nothing at all to do with the players’ football activities. No sir, they were just payments made because the club thought it would be nice.




    In that vein – are they actually stating that they where just handing out money willy nilly and in doing so restricting themselves from purchasing better players – I mean they’ve had some players of a decent cut but certainly not the best. How does he justify that with the supporters and his limited shareholders.



    Am I missing something here? or is he saying they had one contract and got paid the entitlement of that contract only and nothing more.






  26. Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo on

    The Battered Bunnet on 14 March, 2012 at 15:55 said:



    Voguepunter will deny it though. ;-)



    Hail Hail

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