Improper registration of Players at Rangers and SFA inquiry


Yesterday the Scottish Football Association announced an independent inquiry into Rangers FC which will report to the SFA board within two weeks.

While it is welcome that the enquiry is independent, it is gravely concerning that the SFA refused to state the scope of the inquiry or indicate if the final report will be made public.  An inquiry into the Fit and Proper status of Craig Whyte is moot.  An inquiry into last year’s takeover of the club, or how it has conducted its tax business before and after the takeover surely cannot report within three weeks of Rangers going into administration and before the outcome of the tax tribunal is known.  So what are the objectives of the report?

The important question the SFA must address is whether Rangers FC improperly registered football players.  Rules on the legal registration of football players are clear and well established.  All financial compensation offered to players must be part of their contracts, copies of which must be lodged with the club’s national association.

This audio file contains information from Player’s Union representative, Fraser Wishart, who correctly tells Radio Clyde listeners that “in football you’re only allowed one contract, all your earnings from football have to be on that contract”.

The same audio file has excerpts of football journalist, Darrell King, repeatedly telling Radio Clyde listeners that Rangers players involved with EBTs “had two contracts”.  This assertion has not been subject to challenge by Rangers.

The major question for the SFA is whether, as alleged by Mr King, Rangers FC played improperly registered players from around 2000 until the expiry of those contracts, some of which are likely to still be active.  While they are doing so, it would be useful to extend the inquiry to examine recent contracts.

My primary concern regarding the inquiry is the role of the SFA president, Campbell Ogilvie, in framing the scope of the inquiry.  As we reported yesterday, Ogilvie was general secretary and director of Rangers until 2005.  He will be able to answer many of the key questions and, as president, will not only have been able to influence the scope of the inquiry, but will be one of the few who receives the report.

Any SFA inquiry into Rangers FC must report on the key matter in this whole business, the proper registration of football players.  Any attempt to exclude matters which could involve Mr Ogilvie must be resisted and would show the entire activity up as nothing more than a sham.

The sporting penalty for playing improperly registered players is a 3-0 defeat in each game.  Sion have already tested national and international authorities on this matter and are paying a heavy price for trying to gain an unfair advantage.

The stakes are high for Scottish football.  The SFA must demonstrate transparency and the highest possible ethical standards when an inquiry into a member club involves past activities of its president.  It also has a responsibility to fans and member clubs to establish and report any improper conduct at the earliest opportunity.

My Ogilvie should step aside as a matter of urgency in order to provide evidence to the inquiry.

In a gesture which tests the boundaries of the word magnificent, the Celtic fan who paid £5000 towards the Vanessa Riddle Appeal for the signed Celtic jersey we auctioned last week asked us to put it back up for auction again.

Auctions are a magnificent way to help get Vanessa the lifesaving treatment she needs but the cost of participating at the business end soon gets out of the reach of many fans. With this in mind, we have started an eBay raffle; you can win the jersey for the cost of a £1, or the entire purchase price of Rangers FC PLC.

There are no excuses to sit this one out, Vanessa needs your help, you would like to own a signed Celtic jersey, and you too can afford the kind of money Craig Whyte used to buy Rangers. Click here to participate.

Thank you for the dozens of response to the request for writers for CQN Magazine. I’m still working through them, will be in touch soon. Issue six, our Fit and Proper edition, is set to become a landmark collectors item. You can browse the magazine online here but you can buy your own hard copy by clicking on the link below.  Fill your boots…..

Ship to:

You can support the online edition by making a discretionary donation here.

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  1. Can just imagine the powers that be that run the game in Scotland, engaging in conversations at seasons end last year, along the lines of – “Well thank God the seasons over. The glorious Rangers won the SPL again, Timmy is in his place and a Billionaire is taking over Rangers, no more turmoil. Oh happy days”



    Where did it all go wrong ?




  2. Jungle Jim – It’s pretty easy being green these days. (thumbsup)



    bankiebhoy1 – The DR is a dying institution also.



    Good riddance. (thumbsup)

  3. 31003 says:


    22 February, 2012 at 12:30



    Has everyone seen THIS







    Not sure if EVERYONE has. But they should. That is HILARIOUS :)))))))

  4. Used to dream of being a millionaire, without a care


    But if I’m seeing my dreams and you aren’t there


    ‘Cause it’s over, that just won’t be fair




  5. 31003 ,



    saw it last night but some of the content is not suitable to be linked to from a family site like this .



    Sanna (just-sayin csc)

  6. St Martin De Porres on

    2 weeks doesnt sound like the thorough detailed enquiry into Rangers operations 2000-2012 that I was hoping for

  7. Jelly And Gelato on

    19 April 2011 17:12 GMT


    Rangers takeover board want Whyte to ring-fence £25 million investment




    A statement from Rangers chairman Alastair Johnston, who also heads the sub-committee, on Tuesday afternoon claimed they were yet to see proof from Whyte he had “sufficient funding in place to meet the pressing needs of the club”. Johnston also said the committee would not be forced into making a rash decision on the club’s future.



    In a statement, Johnston said: “The Independent Sub-Committee of the board of Rangers Football Club plc wish to clarify certain media comment and speculation relating to its position with respect to the proposed transaction amongst the Murray Group, Craig Whyte and the Lloyds Banking Group.



    “We have fiduciary duties to look after the interests of all the stakeholders in the club. In particular, we have legal responsibilities to ensure that the proposed transaction serves the best interests of the 26,400 minority shareholders, many of whom are season ticket holders.”



  8. Phil.



    Agreed, but it seems intent on going down defending the indefensible on behalf of the unspeakable.




    (It’s another one for the jelly an’ ice cream treatment, when the time comes)




  9. Poor Stuey Regan. He spent the first half of the season tweeting effectively that all Arrear-rangers paperwork was completely in order, everything was rosy in the garden, nothing to see here. It’s perhaps a good job that someone else is handling the enquiry as his ego has written too many cheques that his credibility can’t cover on this matter.

  10. Disappointed that the Celtic game is on tonight.Dont they know that it is Ash Wednesday,and that the crowd may be smaller than it would have been ,if it had been played on Tuesday/Thursday,or am I just a religious zealot.Slan

  11. interesting article just up on the BBC, so much for HMRC “doing a deal” :)







    The tax authorities have denied claims that Rangers Football Club is being treated unfairly over its tax debts.



    Craig Whyte, who took over the club last year, had suggested that officials seemed to be determined to “make an example” of Rangers.



    The Ibrox club was forced into administration last week over an unpaid tax bill of £9m.



    HMRC said its action against Rangers was a last resort and that it did not do deals on tax with companies.



    A spokesman for HMRC said: “We can’t discuss specific cases for legal reasons, but tax that has been deducted at source from the wages of players and support staff, such as ground keepers and physios, must be paid over to HMRC.



    “Any business that fails to meet that basic legal requirement puts the survival of the business at risk.”



    In a statement issued on Tuesday, Mr Whyte said: “Given that HMRC had seen fit to reach agreements with huge corporations owing far more than Rangers – Vodafone, for example – it was difficult to understand why they were being so inflexible unless, of course, they were simply determined to make an example of Rangers.”



    But that suggestion was flatly rejected by the HMRC spokesman.



    He added: “Any business that regards paying tax as an optional extra after other expenses are met, or that uses tax collected from employees or customers as working capital, is potentially heading for trouble.



    “There is little HMRC can do for a business – be it a football club or not – whose viability is dependent either on not paying the UK taxes to which they are liable, or on special treatment not available to other customers with similar tax affairs.”



    MON HECTOR!!!!

  12. The Battered Bunnet says:


    22 February, 2012 at 12:23


    Would it be too cynical to suggest that it might be convenient for a number of parties to ensure that Rangers are relegated this season, thus avoiding any difficult and divisive decisions to come?





    Related to your point I did wonder watching Ian Brines on Saturday so uncharacteristically referee Rangers fairly (indeed ruling out a seemingly “good” goal) that the focus is now on eroding the support through bad results, therefore eroding the income therefore forcing the big L pre FTT findings. Protect reputation, life and limb.



    The plan you outlined would work providing irregularity of player registration could be limited to this year. Once this debate moves into pervious years as per Paul67’s article, then you are into the whole area of stripping titles and cups and there is no way the SFA want to go near that one.







  13. jude2005 is Neil Lennon \o/ on

    I asked S S last night did they realise that employees (SERPS) contributions were in that 9 million? I got a humm and a haw from them. Then “Im sure it’ll all come out soon”.

  14. I must give credit where it’s due so……



    Mr James Delahunt



    take a bow for last nights performance!



    Hopefully we will start to see, the Cellic fans in the media…



    sitting a little bit easier.



    Jim Delahunt – hun skelper CSC



    Hail! Hail!

  15. Bobby Murdoch Curled Up Winklepickers.


    You can take the good ladies,to the Irish night in the Concert Hall Glasgow,if you reside in Scotland,that will put you in the good books,maybe.Slan

  16. Paul67



    I fear you are forcing the issue somewhat.


    There are big questions surrounding the inquiry that remain unanswered.


    These need to be looked at.



    The player registration angle is huge.


    However I fear it will relate more to 2011 than 2001.


    We need focus, not hopeful punts that can be explained away.



    Pushing the multiple contract angle is a little greedy.


    Pushing the side letter issue as a second contract is a bit greedy.


    The side letter issue is EBT gold and little else.



    SN had multiple contracts with us.


    He or we have done nothing wrong in laying out his affairs in this manner.


    We used the ‘image rights’ avenue to better focus his remuneration.


    I would be surprised if we had not gone down a similar street with Ki.



    They are worth a lot, a huge amount on the park.


    They are worth a separate amount to flog jerseys / home country publicity.



    Consequently keep your eye on the ball.

  17. Partial repost from last night.



    It is getting to the point where Celtic will have to declare their position.



    What is going to happen is that the sins of the huns are going to be packaged and labelled Whyte/Murray; and buried with them.



    The Rangers club and their wonderful, cultured fans are going to be classed as victims, who need to be rescued and reinstated for the benefit of football and the nation.



    Acquiesce or Resign.









    Where can the pressure come from to ensure that CO steps aside?



    Can Celtic or other clubs push for it?



    MSM certainly wont want to dip their toes into the festering mess until they see what direction the wind is blowing.

  18. Unsure if there are any exact precedents to this scenario, though the SFA might wish to consider the case of West Ham and their signing of Tevez and Mascherano.



    West Ham played the pair for a whole season (including after the impropriety came to light and in a final day relegation decider in which Tevez scored the winning goal, and were eventually fined 5.5m by the english FA. Now we can view this as 2.75m per improperly registered player, or 5.5m for a season of breaking the rules.



    In each case –



    10 yrs of rule breaking x 2.75m per player x 11 players (est.) = 302.5m fine.




    10yrs of rule breaking x 5.5m per year = £55m fine.



    Let’s start the negotiations at 302m.

  19. It is getting to the point where Celtic will have to declare their position.



    What is going to happen is that the sins of the huns are going to be packaged and labelled Whyte/Murray; and buried with them.



    The Rangers club and their wonderful, cultured fans are going to be classed as victims, who need to be rescued and reinstated for the benefit of football and the nation.



    Acquiesce or Resign.

  20. AWD Chase de Vere and St James’s Place both say they have a small number of clients invested in the Octopus protected enterprise investment scheme caught up in the Glasgow Rangers’ administration.



    Octopus protected EIS invests in Ticketus, a London firm which has provided Rangers with “working capital” in exchange for future season ticket sales.



    Last week, Glasgow Rangers’ administrators Duff & Phelps said it was unclear on the whereabouts of £24m advanced from Ticketus to the Rangers’ account.



    However, the administrators released a further statement this week suggesting that £18m of the money has been accounted for and was used to pay off Rangers’ debt to Lloyds Banking Group when the club was taken over by current owner Craig Whyte last May. “The application of the remainder of these proceeds is subject to further examination,” says the administrator.



    It adds: “We are investigating all the circumstances surrounding both the purchase of the majority shareholding in Rangers Football Club and the flow of funds which stemmed from the transaction and were intended to fulfil the purchasers’ obligations at the time of the sale.”



    In a statement in the press, Whyte says: “The Ticketus deal was by far the best way to protect the club, given the circumstances in that they have no security over any assets. The only person at risk from the deal is me personally because I gave Ticketus personal and corporate guarantees underwriting their investment; the club and the fans are fully protected. In terms of exposure, I am personally on the line for £27.5m in guarantees and cash.”



    Last week, Octopus issued a statement saying Ticketus is just one of a number of companies the Octopus EIS invests in. It added that Ticketus is the owner of the tickets and Octopus is continuing to work with administrators and Rangers on the matter.



    An AWD spokesman says the firm sold the EIS as a higher-risk offering, through different tranches of the same EIS, to a small number of clients.



    A St James’s Place spokesman says the company sold the product to fewer than 50 clients, including partners, and has an exposure of less than £1m. SJP says it is continuing to monitor the situation closely.



    Chelsea Financial Services head of investments Matthew Woodbridge says: “It is disappointing and potentially damaging to an asset class when it is related to such a story. We await more communication from Octopus.”



    Octopus declined to comment on the issue.

  21. jude2005 is Neil Lennon \o/ says:


    22 February, 2012 at 13:05



    Was Donohue on the telly last night. Ive watched jabba on catch up ?



    He was on Newsnight Scotland I think.



    I had the sound on the telly down and was wondering who this scary guy was !



    I had never seen him before.



    I put the sound up – he seemed idiotic at best.



    Well, there ye go.




  22. I’ve added an explanation about the shipping charge the winning ticket for the Vanessa shirt to the above article. There will only be one shipping charge for the winner, no matter how many tickets you buy!



    thomthethim, I am sure many clubs will be concerned IF the president was a director of a club during a period of inappropriate actions.

  23. “The sporting penalty for playing improperly registered players is a 3-0 defeat in each game.”



    Let me repeat that.



    The sporting penalty for playing improperly registered players is a 3-0 defeat in each game.”



    Now if it comes to light that Rangers FC PLC (in administration) did indeed, as alleged, issue two contracts to players, then each and every one of those players was ineligible to play in each and every game that they played.



    So how many seasons is that with nothing but 3 – 0 defeats?



    Never mind the number of league titles won fraudulently. The number of cups won duplicitous. How many religions have they avoided?



    And I’m sure UEFA will be interested in having a look at all of the European games played with ineligible players participating too.



    This could open the biggest can of worms ever seen in football.





    Thanks for the advice,but it’s my Dad and my two sisters who are going.



    Their responses when I told them this were as follows.






    2-Along the lines of piss-ups in a brewery



    3-“Ah,well. We’ll just need to organise something for Saturday”



    A certin pragmatism to winning choice,number 3!

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