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. iPaddy McCourt on

    That statement by Ogilivie is simply embarrassing. He is finished. It is only a matter of time. I think he’ll be gone within the week.

  2. voguepunter on 14 March, 2012 at 16:15 said:


    Sie sind willkommen,mein freund.



    That was for Awe_naw :O(

  3. Ogilvie’s EBT may well have been within the legal boundaries.



    He will have understood perfectly well what they were about and will not have required a side letter. He is not a footballer from, say, the Netherlands.

  4. Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo on




    Bitte nicht !



    Wir werden bereits von Ihnen beeindruckt … nicht Übertrieben ;-)



    Hail Hail

  5. tomtheleedstim on

    Allan Price ‏ @AllanGPrice


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    FavoritedFavorite · Close Open Details BBC: #Rangers may not be in administration because of a legal technicality. CourtofSession to settle the issue on Monday. More to follow

  6. Steinreignedsupreme on

    gerryguk7 on 14 March, 2012 at 15:51 said:



    I hear the legal business pays well…



    On the Craig Whyte stuff – there were stories from his dodgy past in the Mirror Group archives as the Sunday Mail had printed more than one negative article on his business dealings back when he was just a plain old crook.



    This means any buffoon working for the Daily Record would have had easy access to these archives and been able to check out if there were any previous stories regarding Whyte. The buffoon in question (Keith Jackson) clearly did look into the archives in order to get information and went with the young Scottish businessman of the year angle.



    Jackson obviously decided, for reasons best known to himself, that there was no need to refer to any of the negative stuff, and passed up an obvious chance to offset the ‘billionaire’ claim with a note of caution that would have warned his fellow Rangers fans that all may not be as it seemed.



    Instead, this idiot opted to embellish the ‘billionaire’ claim by stating Whyte’s wealth was “off the scale”. In short, the information was there, and thanks mainly to the efforts of a Rangers supporter at the Daily Record – his club will be liquidated in the next four weeks.



    He might even reflect on that when he is signing on in the next couple of years.

  7. 5th generation on

    Does anyone have any knowledge about how a football club can formally involve a governing agency like uefa into investigating the suspect affairs of a national association.

  8. The EBT is more likely to work for Ogilvie than for the players. He has probably already received his Billy Urquhart photo (see earlier post) tax free. I hope it renders him solace in his upcoming “more time with his family”



  9. tomtheleedstim 16.20



    Watch how quickly BBC Scotland gives them their 10 points back.



    My guess is 30 minutes.

  10. Ogilvie’s statement makes good reading.



    “I was aware of the EBT scheme in operation at Rangers during my time at the club and, indeed, was a member”.



    Actually he was (and presumably is) a beneficiary. EBT’s don’t have members, pension schemes do.



    “The existence of the scheme was published in Rangers’ annual accounts.”



    Which he signed off every year as a director of the club.



    “My role at Rangers, until the mid-90s, included finalising the paperwork for player registrations.”



    Thus intimately acquainted with Rule D 9.3 or its predecessor.



    “As confirmed by Sir David Murray today, it was never my role to negotiate contracts during my time at Rangers.”



    But he was by his own admission fully aware of both the EBT scheme, players’ involvement in it, and SFA disclosure requirements for contracts.



    “I ceased being Company Secretary in 2002 and became General Secretary responsible for football strategy, in effect becoming the main point of contact between the club and the respective league and governing bodies.”



    And thus had direct executive responsibility from 2002 until late 2005 – peak years for Rangers’ EBT contributions – for ensuring that all club communications with the SFA and SPL were complete and accurate.



    Thanks for that Campbell. By your own words you stand condemned.

  11. NeilR, I echo the welcomes from the other old timers. Those were the days!



    I also echo your Comments on Alex Thomson’s blog.



    Pop in again and perhaps you can resume your discussions with,was it Neg Anon or Madmitch?


    Then again, perhaps not.:<)

  12. tomtheleedstim on 14 March, 2012 at 16:20 said:



    You mean they can sign Daniel Cousin now, after all … !




  13. celticrollercoaster says In Neil we trust on

    Perhaps CO’s EBT follows the rules and is therefore exempt from tax, after all he never made an appearance for the Huns on the pitch. It is just ahem, all the players’ EBT that are illegal?







  14. tomtheleedstim on

    Steven McIntosh ‏ @smcintosh1982


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    FavoritedFavorite · Close Open Details @AllanGPrice @VidmarFF what would this mean?



    1m Allan Price ‏ @AllanGPrice


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    @smcintosh1982 @VidmarFF The Court may just rubber stamp D&P reappointment. But HMRC / creditors COULD apply again to appoint their own

  15. Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo on




    Wann deine liebe Frau ist involviert dann ich bin immer auf Ihrer Seite ;-) IMMER



    Hail Hail

  16. thebhoywithmcgraininhisside on

    NeilR on 14 March, 2012 at 16:13



    I entirely agree that these arguments are most likely to be theoretical due to the likely nature of the FTT’s judgement.



    As to the other, I stand corrected and thank you for the education.



    Every day’s a school day.



    Hail Hail!

  17. gerryguk7



    Accepting what you say about MSM to be true, and I do not doubt your integrity my friend, but now the cat is out the bag, the rooster has come home to roost, they have reaped what they have sown etc. Surely it is not to much to ask that just one hack has the integrity to chase this story and all its many arms to a conclusion and tell the truth about the scum. Instead you get the dross in the MSM, slabbering all over moonbeams, telling us that we need them etc. I nearly believed that thems were the victims in all this. Sorry in my humble opinion if your guilty then hacks sporting or otherwise should chase the story, tell the truth, stand up and be counted, like Paul67,RTC,Phil and our friend tommo from Channel 4.


    What chances on finding an honest hack soon.




  18. JamsieBhoy on 14 March, 2012 at 16:15 said:


    Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo on 14 March, 2012 at 16:13 said:


    Anyone with an I Pad……..






    Its even funnier for anyone who refuses to be taken in by Apple-hype :)



    Hail Hail

  19. Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo on

    Why would a Scottish employee who resided and worked permanently in Scotland need any use of an EBT ?



    Hail Hail

  20. Radio Scotland saying they may not be in administration after all cos of a legal technicality. No details as yet. Is this good, bad or just plain hunbelievable. My brain’s full.

  21. Ok so lets assume Rangers aren’t in administration due to a technicality. HMRC can decide, D&P weren’t much good as administrators, and can go to Court to get their own administrators appointed.



    New Administration Day could be 19 March 2012.



    Admin day like the Queen will have 2 birthdays.




  22. “it was never my role to negotiate contracts during my time at Rangers. It is also worth noting that, since the mid-90s, I was not responsible for the drafting or administering of player contracts”



    Why so keen to distance yourself from these points Campbell? Is there something you want to tell us about the drafting and registration of Rangers’ players contracts?

  23. How strange that Minty makes his long awaited appearance just yesterday and Mr Soup’s statement comes out today.


    The old boys network is circling the wagons and getting the story straight.

  24. tomtheleedstim on

    May67 – most people with knowledge of these things (i.e. not me) seem to think it is merely a technicality and will be rubber stamped on Monday.


    The only possible change might be that HMRC could try and change the administrators. So, it’s either neutral or better fo us I would guess.

  25. tomtheleedstim on

    Allan Price ‏ @AllanGPrice


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    FavoritedFavorite · Close Open Details @Rickoza The Court should simply rubber stamp D&P on Monday – unless a creditor challenges

  26. To the Editor, The Times



    Dear Sir



    Today I saw the first Cadizzy of Spring.



    I remain your most humble and obedient servant,



    hoopeddreams (Mr.)

  27. Great article. i can’t really see how they can get out of this one. knowing them they somehow will though…

  28. Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo on




    He was a beneficiary of the EBT´s and it is more than a little coincidental that he used the same language “mid nineties” as Hugh Adam.



    Me thinks that both have possibly defected to save their own skin and are possibly now penned in as reliable future informers for the Queens prosecution.



    Could we be barking at the wrong guy ?



    He and Murray I am told fell out badly years ago.



    Hail Hail

  29. I don’t think the CO being a beneficiary of an EBT is, in itself, relevent, as he was not a player .



    However, his administrative position appears to put him in the front line with regards to the administration(oops) of said documents.



    Could be that he has signed his own death warrant. (tax deductible).




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