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.

Click Here for Comments >

About Author


  1. Blantyrekev. apologies, should really have employed the services of someone who knows something about counting, but don’t know anyone :-)

  2. The Prince of Goalkeepers on

    jock steins celtic says:


    22 February, 2012 at 14:11



    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.





    That’s the way I look at it, particularly with Hearts. HMRC know they have the money, its just “encouragement” to make them cough up. Absolutely no sense in serving Rankers with a winding up order, as they’re skint…

  3. ernie lynch – I sometimes wonder how I ever get to sleep at all.



    I know what you mean.



    Sometimes I get so excited about Hunageddon and what the next day will bring I’m like the kid in that John Lewis advert.



    Just waiting to give all the huns I know the gift of a box of GIRUY. (thumbsup)

  4. Celtic Mac



    The SNP are made up of Glorified Councillors who have fluked their way into a position of power.



    Every time I think of Salmond and that ‘rangers are part of the fabric of our society’ answer, I want to puke!

  5. Jock S … @ 14.11



    Good point – normal business rules / practices.


    However how did the HMRC get to the point where the TFOD owed them 9 months worth of tax?



    Surely they could have went in mob handed in the second half of August and forced the sale of a number of players to recoup their money?



    There would be tax outstanding and the Wee Tax case was in full flow.



    NJ / SD / KL / SN / AMcG – their sale would have brought in a few bob.


    £20mill if handled well. Not good got 4-IAR but good for the tax payer.



    Again this issue has legs / needs looking at.

  6. philvisreturns says:


    22 February, 2012 at 14:24



    ‘Sometimes I get so excited about Hunageddon and what the next day will bring I’m like the kid in that John Lewis advert.’




    That’s what happens when the workers own and control the means of production.



    Some day the whole world could be like that.

  7. ernie lynch says:


    22 February, 2012 at 14:17


    philvisreturns says:


    22 February, 2012 at 14:03



    That’s very interesting.



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





    Probably posted before but e-mailed to me by another CQN’r :




    Anyone think that Craig Whyte’s bailout plan is based on the following?



    It is a slow day in a little Greek Village……




    The rain is beating down and the streets are deserted. Times are tough, everybody is in debt, and everybody lives on credit.



    On this particular day a rich German tourist is driving through the village, stops at the local hotel and lays a €100 note on the desk, telling the hotel owner he wants to inspect the rooms upstairs in order to pick one to spend the night.



    The owner gives him some keys and, as soon as the visitor has walked upstairs, the hotelier grabs the €100 note and runs next door to pay his debt to the butcher. The butcher takes the €100 note and runs down the street to repay his debt to the pig farmer. The pig farmer takes the €100 note and heads off to pay his bill at the supplier of feed and fuel. The guy at the Farmers’ Co-op takes the €100 note and runs to pay his drinks bill at the taverna. The publican slips the money along to the local prostitute drinking at the bar, who has also been facing hard times and has had to offer him “services” on credit. The hooker then rushes to the hotel and pays off her room bill to the hotel owner with the €100 note.



    The hotel proprietor then places the €100 note back on the counter so the rich traveller will not suspect anything. At that moment the traveller comes down the stairs, picks up the €100 note, states that the rooms are not satisfactory, pockets the money, and leaves town.



    No one produced anything. No one earned anything. However, the whole village is now out of debt and looking to the future with a lot more optimism.



    And that, Ladies and Gentlemen, is how the bailout package works

  8. Raymac



    tyvm. I meant to mail you last night but will def do so before the game tonight. Was hoping you could get to Scotland for a wee horseracing trip and/or maybe take in a game at the same time? Will give you detail by mail. (Re your nag -that’ll be 2 singles and a dbl with WITS tip. Could be a great night :-))






    Thanks. Just glad I didn’t offend you.



    BTW – I CAN see into the future. I reckon 3-0 or 3-1 is written into our future, and Charlie Mulgrew will score. (this is the point someone tells me Charlie is out injured)

  9. Ernie Lynch,



    all the money donated goes to the appeal, so if you overpaid £4.06 on the £1 ticket, the £4.06 goes to Vanessa, so I will sleep tonight. I’ll enter people for the right number of tickets they paid money for. You don’t have to pay right away on ebay and many people spotted the, in this case, honest mistake. Lesson learned for next time!

  10. To my mind the inquiry is about the time from when Craig Whyte took over, nothing else. Therefore SFA president RC Ogilvie will not be required to give any evidence as he nothing whatsoever to do with that period and subsequently, no conflict of interest exists. por cierto

  11. ernie lynch – That’s what happens when the workers own and control the means of production.



    Some day the whole world could be like that.



    Tractor production would go through the roof! (thumbsup)



    Laird of the Smiles aka PMTYH – Ha! Excellent satire.



    I bet Craig Whyte’s business plan for Rangers was based on that. (thumbsup)

  12. St Martin De Porres says:


    22 February, 2012 at 13:14


    is jim delahunt a tim?


    I seem to remember getting into a taxi driven by his brother at seamil hydro and he came across hunlike


    just saying



    Doubtful if he is. I know that his father was head of the SVDP in his parish/diocese.






    PAYE /NIC for a large company is the same due date as for an employer with a staff of 1 . Namely the tax needs to be paid by 19th of the month following the period (month) the wages were paid – so May 2011 PAYE is due on the 19th June 2011. HMRC will allow you to pay by the 23rd if you pay electronically. I can guarantee that HMRC would be chasing payments within days of a payment being missed.The debt gets passed on to enforcement depts of HMRC very quickly.

  13. Apologies to Folly Folly. I haven’t been posting for as long as you and I do so infrequently therefore I would happily acknowledge the precedent set by your goodself. BTW I think the copyright sits with St Gregory?




  14. craigwhitesoptometrist on

    Sorry can’t believe I forgot, no bhoys I’m


    not a Hun, I know a few though, they could


    never understand how I was able to


    predict their next downfall. Sorry Paul,


    RTC and phil. They really do look


    uglier when confused, I know I know,


    unbelievable but true.

  15. craigwhitesoptometrist says:


    22 February, 2012 at 14:14


    Hi fellow cqn’ers, first time blogger





    Welcome ya Hun!


    Don’t worry only another dozen or so more inferences that you may possess the ability to walk and drag your knuckles on the ground at the same time to go -stick in there

  16. Amadeus gently suggests that rather than concentrate on the puppet, attention would be better served upon the puppet-master.


    Focus, bhoys, focus!

  17. brucecassavetes on

    Why are all the journos now saying that there’s more to come out?



    From a poster on RTC:



    ‘Could it be that Minty, the Jordan Nominee Shareholder of Wavetower (soon to be RFC Group Ltd) and the cash funder of the Ticketus VCT are (possibly) all the same person?’

  18. Por Cierto says:


    22 February, 2012 at 14:29



    They SFA gave the vaguest of description as to the scope of the investigation. I think the use of the word recent in their announcement obviously would mean its regarding CW but in typical SFA lodge meetings style it looks like it will be done in secret until they can redact the incriminatory elements of the findings to protect their own, who really knows what they are investigating.




  19. Fair do’s, Ludo.



    Although I wasn’t so bold/foolish as to claim copyright!



    I just like the expression much more than TFOD.



    How come Saint Gregory? I thought Soul of My Saviour was attributed to John XXII (1249-1334) … ?




  20. Looking for a good performance and hopefully a few goals from the hoops tonight,i reckon Sammi will start in place of Forrest



    What chance a shock result at Murderwell tonight with a Hibs win as the well close in on 2nd spot.



    Answers on a postcard to Stuart McCall.

  21. ASonOfDan



    I noticed George Galloway drew attention to Salmond’s stance, accusing the SNP leader of “wrapping himself in the Union flag”. George got that right! I have said it before and I will say it again, “Independence” Salmond style will see Scotland subject to the Crown and governed by the Bank of England!

  22. Gordon_J backing Neil Lennon says:



    22 February, 2012 at 13:58






    I emailed my MSP, who is SNP, last Thursday about this. Not even received an acknowledgement, let alone an answer. My MSP John Mason has already replied to my follow up and authorised my publication of his views. Very un-politician like altogether!!!






    I e-mailed my SNP MSP, The Tax Payers Alliance & my Labour MP. Only the last of these did not reply. I have always voted Labour so I have no ulterior motive for posting below the reply by Mr Mason, which, though not exactly my thoughts, seems robust, pertinent & thought through….



    “I completely agree with you that football clubs and all businesses should be paying their taxes in full. Individuals like yourself get no choice in this and neither should big companies like Vodafone or Rangers. I think HMRC have been rightly criticised in the past for letting some companies off too easily.



    Spending money they do not have is cheating. At the moment this is Rangers but I know Hearts have financial problems too and others like Celtic, Dundee, and Motherwell have had in the past. My own team Clyde also got into serious debt (relative to our size) a few years ago and a large part of our current income is having to go to pay that off (hence the disastrous league position). Similarly Gretna cheated teams like Clyde out of both points and money by using players they could not afford.



    The Scottish government has made it clear there will be no public money for Rangers and I completely agree with that. HMRC are controlled by the UK Government so Alex Salmond and the rest of us in the Scottish Parliament have no say over what HMRC does.



    As I understand it there are 2 financial issues with Rangers: present debts of £9 million (plus?); potential £50 million or more if they lose the court case. As far as I am concerned, well paid footballers playing in this country should be paying their full amount of tax here. I have no sympathy for schemes to help rich people avoid paying tax. Tax is a good thing and we need all of it we can get for our schools, hospitals, roads, etc, etc. I am certain Alex Salmond also agrees that Rangers as all businesses should be paying both their debts and their taxes.



    Where I guess HMRC have a problem is whether to liquidate Rangers and maybe only get a little of the money or to let them keep operating and pay back over say 5 to 10 years. That way, we the taxpayer might get more money back but it might take longer. That is something HMRC (and any other creditors) will have to decide. Neither Alex Salmond nor I can influence their decision in this regard.



    Given legislation as it currently is, it is always open to an individual or company to go into liquidation or bankruptcy at which stage creditors lose some or most of the debt owed. It is then open to a company to reappear as New Rangers or similar. I think this is broadly what Airdrie did (and that caused a lot of resentment from Clydebank). In fact I think it is almost certain Rangers would reappear if they were liquidated. One crumb of comfort for smaller clubs like Clyde might be that if Rangers had to start in the Third Division, it would be a great financial boost for us!



    If I could change one thing in regards regulating clubs, it would be to ban debt. Make every team live within its means. And if a rich individual comes along to support a team, they would have to put real money in rather than guaranteeing debt as has been happening.



    I hope these comments are helpful but feel free to come back to me on any point.”



    The SNP is the party of our ‘local’ government but it does not mean attention grabbing sound bites by Ministers reflect feelings in the country at large or in the back benches behind them.




  23. Oops!



    This sentence should have appeared immediately under the page break:



    My MSP John Mason has already replied to my follow up and authorised my publication of his views. Very un-politician like altogether!!!



    Apologies to ASonofDan

  24. Seven Fishes Four Steaks on







    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.



    Crusaders and Glentoran have both been issued with winding up orders from HMRC also as would Linfield but they have the money as they are basically funded by IFA through their contract with Windsor park.




  25. 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.”

  26. Seven Fishes Four Steaks says:


    22 February, 2012 at 14:44







    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.



    Crusaders and Glentoran have both been issued with winding up orders from HMRC also as would Linfield but they have the money as they are basically funded by IFA through their contract with Windsor park




    Well i stand corrected sir.

  27. the long wait is over on




    A cynic , which thankfully I’m not , might say that the speed with which the inquiry has been called and will be concluded is just another example of the extent to which this whole episode is rapidly becoming about Craig Whyte and his alleged misdeeds and not about Rangers Plc.



    As this goes on I’m tempted to check that Rangers werent in fact “Craig Whyte ( sole trader) trading as Rangers” and not a PLC with a board comprising executive and non executive directors and all the checks and balances of a PLC.



    And thats without addressing any of the background and historical failings that led to big bad rogue trader CW being allowed in to such a position of apparently unfettered power.



    Where is this heading? Quite simply to a position where all the blame is laid at CW’s door , Rangers as an entity are sympathised with publicly as victims as much as their fans and employees (many of the latter genuinely being victims in all of this) of CW’s deceit , thus smoothing the way to as soft a landing as possible.




    If or when the Big Tax bomb goes off attention from it will be deflected as much as possible on the basis that its all CW’s fault and we’ve held inquiries which prove that.

  28. Octopus has many tentacles



    Bears in hibernation









    Lion in the boardroom



    Cheetahs everywhere



    Ibrox is a crowded zoo…



    Havin’ a giraffe at events doon govan way…heeheehee…i’ll get me coat.