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…..

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

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  1. Lennon n Mc....Mjallby on

    Davie Hay



    Dullyell is the biggest daftie on the wireless,if I could get a penny for everytime he says ‘there are questions,questions Jim,that the ranger (note the singular) fan need answer to’,I would be able to keep BFDJ in jelly n ice cream for a month.



    ‘kilmarnink’ is also one of my favourites from him.

  2. I absolutely despise the SNP!




    SHONA ROBISON, the Minister for Commonwealth Games and Sport, says the Scottish Government want to see the “best deal for the taxpayer” achieved from Rangers’ administration but has stopped short of insisting the Ibrox club must repay the full £9million owed to HMRC in non-payment of PAYE and VAT since Craig Whyte’s takeover last May.



    Robison, who welcomed the launch of the SFA’s inquiry into the Rangers crisis, expressed fears for the wider consequences to Scottish football if the club went out of business.



    While keen to see Rangers meet their financial liabilities, she did not rule out the prospect of a compromise deal being reached on the unpaid bill which tipped them into administration last week.



    “At the end of the day, I’m not going to second guess the discussions that are happening between the administrators and HMRC,” said Robison. “They are at a very sensitive stage and I think they should be left to get on with it. But, obviously, we want the best deal for the taxpayer out of this.”



    When it was put to her that the Scottish Government could not be seen to support tax evasion, she replied: “Absolutely not. We want Rangers to be able to meet their obligations. The question then is how best are they able to meet those obligations. Hopefully, the administrators will be able to come up with the best situation they can to meet the creditors’ requirements.



    “The HMRC is a large one but there are others as well. That should absolutely be a focus. But the Rangers fans are not to blame for that and neither are the staff who work behind the scenes whose jobs are in jeopardy.



    “So I think we need to hope the administrators will find a way forward. In my conversation with the administrators, they certainly were very much focused on that effort.



    “I think that’s a matter between the administrators and HMRC. But we know HMRC want to get the best deal for the taxpayer. But they also recognise the importance of Rangers to the economy and to Scottish football.



    “It’s a very, very difficult situation. The government’s position on this is that Rangers is an important part of Scottish football. There would be big implications if Rangers ceased to exist, not least when you look at the sponsorship and broadcasting deals that involve a certain number of Old Firm matches.



    “We would hope that Rangers continue and will be able to meet their obligations. There are obviously a number of obligations out there, not least to HMRC and others. We hope a resolution can be found.



    “I know the administrators are working very hard to find a way forward that can hopefully begin to meet some of those obligations. But we’ll need to wait and see what happens.



    “It’s a fast-moving situation. Hardly a day goes by that there’s not some development or other. The government hopes for a resolution that finds the best way forward in a difficult situation.”

  3. Notes from the underground…



    It couldn’t be true? Could it?



    ML9 dwellers in discussions with other Megiddo away support to…



    a) Organise a boycott of Tannadice game.



    b) Pool funds from said boycott and pay Dunfermline their due monies because of their public show of solidarity to the Big House.



    You couldn’t make it up.



    Thanks to Fernigair, Larkhall and Stonehouse we don’t have to.

  4. Mad Mitch



    My reading of the Hearts situation is that in their case the HMRC is more pro-active, or more vigilant, when payments have failed to arrive. Hearts defence is that well if we don’t pay any wages then we don’t need to pay any taxes! Now to be referred to as the ‘Tesco Defence’, an approach no doubt favoured by philvisreturns!

  5. Neil canamalar Lennon hunskelper extrordinaire on

    Couple of questions


    If our whyte knight is charged ans found guilty of impropriety, can he loose his secured status.


    If so, will the secured status be passed on to any of the other creditors?



    will the sfa be open to compensation claims from othe fa’s if they have been found to be guilty of illegally issuing the lisence to the Hun?

  6. Paul67 – great article again. My thoughts are that this specific enquiry is to look at some fairly clean cut areas where RFC have been ‘at it’, namely players registrations/contracts and licence submissions. There is no way that anyone could get to the bottom of the HMRC side of things in such a short space of time.


    So, I am confident that we will be in a position to have the whitewash on the 3 above key areas in the prescribed time. Thoughts?

  7. BrotherAidanIwisnaelate on

    Anyone any idea if we signed the Brazilian/Portuguese boy last week. In all the furore I didnt see if his week long trial was a success or not.

  8. Oglach



    my most humble apologies.



    Let me explain. I made a post on here yesterday addressed to you about a fella from Northern Ireland whom attended a hun game at Ibroke with me 30 years ago, and we ended up in the huns end. I mentioned his name was Eugene. Amazingly, Eugene’s son posts on here and got in touch with his dad, who confirmed it was indeed him. I wrongly assumed it was you who had contacted Eugene ( and you were the son) but as I say, I got it wrong. Once again Oglach, I do apologise.



    Anyhow, Paul 67 was able to get my details to Eugene and I have just spoken to him for the first time in over 30 years. We will meet up sometime soon hopefully and share some good memories!

  9. The Battered Bunnet – I asked yesterday, but perhaps it got overlooked in the stramash: Does your Swan supplier stock Wild Boar?



    TBB – Of course not.



    It would be like expecting your maker of fine diamond-topped canes (all the better to fend off people collecting money for charity) to also stock top hats. What sort of tuppence-ha’penny establishment do you think an emporium of fresh swan is? Harrods?



    That way lies madness. (thumbsup)

  10. SFFS @ 13.50



    I will add Cliftonville to the list.


    It would seen to set a fine precedent.



    £14K – one months tax?



    Finally one for all the businessmen of the blog.



    When does NI / PAYE / VAT get handed over to the HMRC?


    You know medium sized national institution.


    £30-£50mill T/O company with a £25mill pa wage bill.



    Would it be weekly / monthly / quarterly?



    9months of not paying tax would nearly, nearly mind contacting the (non) Tax Payers Alliance for some help.



    I think this is a huge angle in the whole sorry TFOD / CW mess.


    Sort this out, get the details out into the media and the pay every penny option just gets better and better.



    Not £5mill pa including interest.


    Looking at £10mill pa and BD would consider that a result.

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



    Ernie, I am truly apologetic but some times I have to do some work, and inadvertently miss questions from my CQN fans as a result.



    Now then, now then, now then…



    I found this most illuminating article on the BBC for you to read:



    You’re welcome. (thumbsup)

  12. To the first minister: When you see the accumulation of wrongdoings by this organisation will you still regard them as an institution that is essential to the greater good of Scotland. In God’s name, man, how, even in your worst moments, could you ever want to save this mob? Glasgow not Chicago, Mr. Salmond!




  13. Ex Ludo at 13:48



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



    It may depend on how long you’ve been posting on CQN.



    I’ve been posting for ‘only’ about 3 years and have been using that particular term of affection throughout that time; I wasn’t aware of anyone else on here using it their ‘default’ description …




  14. Just sent this email to Clare Bodel, head of communications at the SFA




    Dear Clare,




    I am contacting you as head of the communications department within the SFA regarding the recent announcement of an independent inquiry into the running of Rangers FC to be chaired by Lord Nimmo Smith.



    I am seeking clarification in regard to the position of SFA President Campbell Ogilvie and his links with Rangers FC during the time that EBT’s were in use by Rangers FC and his knowledge at the time of this. This is a clear conflict of interest on the part of Mr Ogilvie in his current position as President of the SFA. It is of the utmost importance to everyone in this country that the SFA are seen to be completely transparent in this inquiry. I and many others find it inconceivable that Mr Ogilvie was not aware of the situation at Rangers FC in his time as Secretary of the club.



    Can you provide further information as to how this inquiry is to be conducted. Are we to have a fully transparent, public inquiry into these events? Will Mr Ogilvie be called publically as a witness? Will Mr Ogilvie be standing down as President of the SFA during this inquiry as I feel he must?



    I would appreciate any information you can provide regarding these issues.




  15. Lennon n Mc....Mjallby on

    Shona hen,the huns only bought season tickets during the noughties because their club were signing big players and had plenty of success,so how you can say its not the fans fault is beyond me,Minty was just an idiot that finally felt he was important and was royally started by the hun watp/superiority complex mentality,to say its not the fans fault shows where your priorities as an mp lie.

  16. Paul



    I can’t believe they would be so stupid to misregister the players that were on the EBTs.



    There would be in effect 3 contracts but only one with the club to the player (a lack of understanding on Dawwl’s part).



    The player/employee would have a normal contract with stated salary and PAYE relevant.



    The player would have monies transferred to an offshore trust that he would be a nominated beneficiary. So contract between C;lun and Trust.



    The player would then seek a loan from the trust. The repayment of the loan would fall when he is no longer an employee. Contract between trust adn player.



    I would be surprised if SFA rules took account of any of this and would then have to simply register contract 1 to cover the bear requirements.



    I would have thought that it would have been beholden of someone however at the SFA to query why such big stars appeared to be playing for a lot less money than suggested by the LL. Perhaps another question for your friend Campbell.

  17. Guys, seems to have been a bit of an “honest mistake” on the signed top for Vanessa ebay listing. All related to postage costs. I replied on the earlier post and thought it was sorted but it wasn’t, apologies.



    If you bought multiple tickets, ebay was charing you postage, in fact even if you bought one ticket, ebay was charging you postage. This was because I entered the postage costs for the shirt (£4.06). So, even if you bought 1 ticket you will have been charged £5.06. 2 tickets, £10.12 etc



    This has now been fixed and the only sane way to do this is to send the winner the shirt for free, which is not that big a deal in the wider scheme of things.



    If you bought a £1 ticket and have been charged £5.06, I’ll enter 5 tickets for you into the draw rather than one. Alternatively, if you wish a refund, let me know via ebay and I’ll refund you. You’ll need to give me your real name as the money has gone into Paypal and I probably won’t recognise you by your ebay moniker.



    If you have “bought” tickets but haven’t paid yet, just cancel your original purchase and any new purchase will be postage free.



    To date have sold 77 tickets, which is great but should sell more now this problem has been resolved. Thank you for your patience and generosity and apologise for the inconvenience.

  18. Seven Fishes Four Steaks says:


    22 February, 2012 at 13:50


    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!





    Cliftonville (The Reds) are a club with a large nationalist support. Linfield a club with 100% loyalist support. Had Linfield owed money it would have been different of that i am sure.

  19. A good post from




    duggie73 says:


    22/02/2012 at 1:31 pm



    Ticketus provided £20mil


    Lloyds received £18mil



    Whyte provided £1


    SDM received £1.



    Tricky to see who the big players are, isn’t it?

  20. jock steins celtic on

    I assume HMRC issues a winding up order when they know the debtor has the money and just needs a gentle nudge into paying it over.

  21. Twists, a wee tip for the 8.30 at Kempton tonight–By Implication. I know it works well with the Rangers tax case but at the moment it’s between 5/1@ 6/1. Worth a look. I was going to phone Craig Wite? Whyte/ Wight? (ach screw it) but I can’t afford long-distance international phone calls.

  22. Excellent article Paul67,



    A clear conflict of interests exist if Campbell Olgivie has any role in the SFA investigation.



    Usually these reports are brought before the body being invstigated for its comments before the report is made final.



    Even if Olgivie plays no part in the investigation itself, he must also play no part in the SFA response before the report is signed off.



    Árd Macha

  23. craigwhitesoptometrist on

    Hi fellow cqn’ers, first time blogger


    But long time admirer of endless enjoyment


    I get from reading this site.


    Thought after all this time I might as well


    join the fun.


    Sorry to start my first contribution on


    a negative but does anyone think SFA


    will publish result of findings into r#*gers


    after spl split therefore no matter how


    many points deducted they won’t finish


    below sixth. Just a thought.

  24. twists n turns says:


    22 February, 2012 at 13:59





    No problem at all just concerned you had developed a latent talent for communicating with the deceased :-)




  25. Steinreignedsupreme says:


    22 February, 2012 at 13:34




    I agree totally that now is not the time. I feel that we will be ready to act or react whenever appropriate.



    I just got a bit alarmed about news of the politicians meeting the Admins. I shouldn’t have.


    a) they are just bluff merchants. and


    b) it is HMRC who hold the aces.



    Whenever Celtic take the gloves off, I expect to see Paul Mc. Bride take on the SFA on our behalf.



    He did it before, and will do it again, on Erin’s….oh wrong song!!

  26. FourGreenFields on

    Well done Nakagod , let’s flush them out .


    We want the truth , the whole truth and nothing but the truth .



  27. philvisreturns says:


    22 February, 2012 at 14:03




    That’s very interesting.



    It seems we owe a lot of this debt to ourselves.



    And of course while the UK owes money to other countries, those countries in turn owe money to the UK.





    It’s all very confusing.



    I sometimes wonder how I ever get to sleep at all.

  28. Gordon_J backing Neil Lennon



    I know, that muppet Mason that covers my area, does not give us Tims the time of day.

  29. ASonOfDan



    At present Scotland raises only 6% of total expenditure in taxation. The rest is allocated to Edinburgh in form of a block grant from London and UK wide expenditure. The response by Shona Robertson shows exactly why we cannot trust the SNP with increased control of both taxes and expenditure. It seems to me that the SNP would be quite prepared to turn a blind eye to any unpaid taxes where Rangers are concerned. I mentioned the other day that whenever a politician, or anybody else speaks of their concern that the HMRC is trying to collect taxes from Rangers FC, they should be asked directly, how much are they prepared to contribute personally to their tax liability. Alex Salmond was first on my list, let us put Shona Robertson second!

  30. Team for the remainder of the season, mainly because he has played a blinder:



    ::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Whyte :::::::::::::::::::::::::::



    Whyte ::::::::::::: Whyte ::::::::: Whyte :::::::: Whyte



    :::::::: Whyte :::::::: Whyte :::::::: Whyte ::::::::: Whyte



    ::::::::: Whyte :::::::: Whyte :::::::



    On the bench, Whyte, Whyte, Whyte and Whyte



    Could be up for Player of the Year if not the Decade



    Hail! Hail! PMTYH

  31. taggsybhoy says:



    22 February, 2012 at 14:06





    I bought some tickets and was charged the additional postage costs, no need for refund as it is for a good cause and my contribution is nothing compared to the person who re-donated the top and the cause is worhty. Ebay name is Rhys2403.



    Hail Hail

  32. taggsybhoy says:


    22 February, 2012 at 14:06



    Does every penny for the tickets go to the appeal?



    The reason I’m asking is that supposing someone was going to just make a donation, but instead bought tickets instead, would the appeal be any better or worse off?

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