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. Gene's a Bhoys name on

    Celtic Mac says:



    22 February, 2012 at 13:17



    I was half expecting a question asking for support of them to be raised – a few weeks ago one was raised in support of Portsmouth – bit of a difference between £2m and £100m

  2. Why is Sir Minty not being mentioned in any of these goings on? I find it amazing that he and his cohorts


    are not culpable.



    Hail! Hail!

  3. philvisreturns says:


    22 February, 2012 at 12:34


    Here’s how they diagnose Venture Capitalists, i.e. sociopaths. You need to exhibit at least three of the following.



    Try to guess which ones apply to a certain unravelling institution, its custodians and its customers?



    * failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviors as indicated by repeatedly performing acts that are grounds for arrest;



    * deception, as indicated by repeatedly lying, use of aliases, or conning others for personal profit or pleasure;



    * impulsiveness or failure to plan ahead;



    * irritability and aggressiveness, as indicated by repeated physical fights or assaults;



    * reckless disregard for safety of self or others;



    * consistent irresponsibility, as indicated by repeated failure to sustain consistent work behavior or honor financial obligations;



    * lack of remorse, as indicated by being indifferent to or rationalizing having hurt, mistreated, or stolen from another;

  4. Paul67 et al



    Do not usually correct myself, but will do in this case, “an organisation which believes that failing to forward Income Tax and National Insurance payments to the HMRC is a legitimate option.

  5. Philvis


    No. They’re still evil. It should be ‘the love of money is the root…..’




  6. Steinreignedsupreme on

    thomthethim: 22 February, 2012 at 13:08



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



    There is no need for Celtic to get involved at all as things stand.



    I have no doubt once liquidation arrives our club will make appropriate statements at the right times.



    It’s not like we have to wait too much longer. I will be surprised if they make it to the next Glasgow derby.

  7. Joe Filippis Haircut on

    IanBhoy929 The tax bill that is causeing all the problem had been generated in the last 9 months when Sir David Murray wasnt at the club but Craig Whyte was the man in charge.Now when and if the big tax bill hits them that will involve Murray also the enquiry could very well implicate him like you I see him as the main player and he should not be allowed to walk away scot free.H.H.

  8. paulsatim is neil lennon – How much do you think they can get for those dirty bedsheets they were waving outside Ibrox? (thumbsup)

  9. JinkyvJohnGreig-saysitall on

    Another interesting article – I wonder, has there ever been a reason given publicly as to why C Ogilvie left R*ngers in 2005? He clearly wasn’t retiring as he pitched up at Hertz later.



    Someone who BFDJ describes as ‘the best administrator in Scottish football’.



    Had he finally discovered the truth about the EBT scheme and dual contracts? I’ve always wondered about Romanov’s views of Murray and whether Ogilvie had let something slip.



    Questions should be asked.

  10. Glenbuck – I’m not a venture capitalist, alas, but I am scunnered with all the recent bonus-bashing.



    Don’t they realise I work hard for my bonus when I’m not winning podiums and teaching people about economics on CQN? (thumbsup)

  11. Lennon n Mc….Mjallby says:


    @ 22 February, 2012 at 13:21



    LOL…thats a belter.



    big dazza is one of the thickest, most


    intellectually challenged individuals


    i’ve ever heard on radio…he makes BFDJ


    sound almost prof. brian cox’like.



    i loved that line. it had me laughing for ages.


    “i spoke to someone at rangers about it and


    everything was ok with them”



    read it back to yourself slowly as though


    youve just banged your head really hard with about


    a second between each word and itll be just


    like the big nugget

  12. Afternoon all



    A major well done to the person who bought the jersey for the vanessa appeal and put it back for re sale



    and also well done to Paul67 for the raffle idea as you are 100% correct, many of us are out of the running from very early on in an auction!!



    one point though, I logged on to buy some raffle tickets but it only seems to be available for those in the UK as i do not have an ebay account and was looking to buy as a guest!!!!



    Any clues as to how i can do this from Ireland???

  13. I am going, weather forecast heavy rain, a night for a powerhouse to get a couple of headers and then a twenty-yarder. 100/1!

  14. Is the game on TV tonight or is it surf the net for a link to Channel 67 time? And in case anyone objects i subscribe to the Channel 67 UK and Ireland package. I hope that one day CFC will be in a position to sell / air its games to any TV audience regardless of country.

  15. Celtic Mac et al



    What were the circumstances behind the spat that HMRC had with Hertz?



    What did they owe?


    How far behind were they with their tax payments?


    What sanction did HMRC take to try and sort it out?



    How does that compare with the current TFOD situation?


    Did the TFOD get favourable treatment?


    Nine months without paying tax would appear excessive.



    Not sure of the details.


    Any info would be appreciated.

  16. BrotherAidanIwisnaelate on

    Just to clear up the Jim Delahunt question. He is a tim. I worked with his ex-wife a few years ago and she confirmed.

  17. Scotpatsfan – Good point.



    Being rich and evil is one thing, being poor and evil is just unforgivable.



    They’re like a tiny chihuahua that would really, really, like to kill you.



    The mismatch between their intent and their capabilities is comical. (thumbsup)

  18. Lennon n Mc....Mjallby on

    Something that’s been rippin’ ma knittin’ is this defence the hordes are putting across for ebt’s,their telling all n sundry that they were badly advised but what they conveniently forget to mention is that for a club which revels in British jingoism they not only sought out a way in which to pay less tax they also employed it,now you would think Her Majesties loyal subjects wouldn’t dare countenance such an idea let alone use it especially when their arch rivals said no to such a scheme.



    Badly advised?




    Aye Right!

  19. The Battered Bunnet on




    I asked yesterday, but perhaps it got overlooked in the stramash: Does your Swan supplier stock Wild Boar?



    The Mrs is anxious to know.




  20. jude2005 is Neil Lennon \o/ says:


    22 February, 2012 at 13:19



    In that case it must’ve been STV – whatever the prog is at 10.30pm on there.




  21. philvisreturns says:


    22 February, 2012 at 13:38




    ‘Don’t they realise I work hard for my bonus when I’m not winning podiums and teaching people about economics on CQN?’



    Speaking of which, I did ask you the other day to whom the national debt was owed. You didn’t reply.

  22. Gene’s a Bhoys Name



    While it is true that David Cameron expressed concern over the plight of Portsmouth FC ( a National Institution and part of the fabric of society down Hampshire way) in Parliament a couple of weeks back, the fact is the HMRC applied and succeeded in putting that very same club in Administration only a week later.



    Got an idea for the Parliamentarians out there mind you, why doesn’t some MP introduce an Early Day motion “demanding that Rangers FC and their supporters pay their tax liabilities to the HMRC instead of trying to walk away scot free”

  23. The Moon Bhoys says:


    22 February, 2012 at 13:33


    ‘Amadeus – dont you remember your last hat trick tip?’



    Barcabhoy has also alluded on RTC to the BBC working on a bunker bursting story about Murray.



    I’m joining the dots and making a picture and hoping to win a major prize.

  24. Amidst this whole farrago of lies, obsfucation, misrepresentation etc I find a strange echo of the collapse of Barings Bank in 1995. The man who took the blame for the collapse of this bank, which had been around since the Napoleonic Wars and was the preferred bank of HM the Queen, was Nick Leeson, thereafter referred to as “The Rogue Trader” It beggars belief that one person could have been responsible for doing what he was blamed for. I suspect that the root of the failure lay with the corporate governance of Barings and ineffective monitoring by the FSA.


    It would appear to me that the man of the hour, Mr White/Whyte, is also being set up as a “Rogue Trader” and will in all likliehood carry the can for the mess that is RFC (In Administration) and this is where the real challenge lies. Making sure that those who should have been looking after football in Scotland are held to account.


    p.s. After a prison term and overcoming a life threatning illness Nick Leeson ended up as CEO of Galway United FC. No such happy ending for CW I would guess.


    p.p.s. Was I the first poster to use the term “Foe Malign”?




  25. RalphWaldoEllison-is Neil Lennon Season 2011-12 on

    A few are expressing concerns that the SFA inquiry will be an exercise in telling us what we already know, exonerating by omission those whom it doesn’t refer to, while implicating those who have already run away to European tax havens.



    This is the era of Tarhir Square, Arab Spring and a new media that is beyond the control of those who would seek to keep us in the dark, perhaps the way RFC fans have been for decades. The SFA have publicly announced that the inquiry will be conducted, but have given no terms of reference or the reporting line, but those terms of reference will be clear when the findings are published, or when members clubs are given a copy.



    They can run ( to Monaco even) but they cannot hide. New media will get you.



  26. So refreshing to see a post such as this:



    ” Serge says:


    22 February, 2012 at 13:25


    Can’t see anything other than another 4-0 or 5-0 result for the hoops this evening. We are playing great and the pars will not stand in our way. HH”


    ie A post about Celtic , the team. I am hoping Commons is given a fair amount of game time. I am also hoping we either win the title really soon or drop a couple of points . Why the latter? Well, whilst our winning run continues, we will continue to pick our proven team. If the run finished, we could blood the new guys and promising youngsters. That could only improve our overall strength and quality.






    22 February, 2012 at 12:28


    TAL 1225


    You heard it here first……..



    Sorry mate had to run oot wi the grand-wean for school…..Aye! but I didn’t think I would be hearing it so soon:)….This guy may have some pull with the SFA – Especially since they named a town in America after him:)



  28. Seven Fishes Four Steaks on

    MadMitch, a club in the north if Ireland, Cliftonville, were late to the tune if 14k in their tax and were handed a winding up order!




  29. Think we,ll see the political support for r&ngers in rapid decline,


    firstly…. cw,s statement admitting he lied


    secondly…statement that followed from administrators


    thirdly and most importantly…….the statement from HMRC today



    oglach,i measc laochra na ngael go raibh a anam uasal


    long kesh escapee,you must be very proud

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