Johnston protests but doesn’t deny central charge


There has been a pattern for me in recent days.  I’ve read a statement by a current/former football club director, then I’ve gone looking for corroboration, just in case the report is a sabotaged attempt to make the author appear foolish.

A statement was released by former Rangers chairman, Alastair Johnston yesterday, discussing the current SPL Commission looking into how his board administered football player contracts.  I agree with him that any “capital punishment decision” should not be left to the SPL, but the SPL have no authority to impose capital punishment on a football club.  The decision to terminate a football club can only be taken by the SFA (I am discounting the reckless behaviour of directors), and is perhaps a reason the SFA decided to delegate this inquiry to the league.  It is interesting timing for Johnston to put this on the table.

Johnston’s main thrust is in connection with the SPL Commission, saying “the SFA wrote to us asking for more details about the public speculation concerning our financial and tax situation. The latter obviously referenced the impact of the EBT schemes as creating a potential taxation liability.

“The club responded accordingly and provided details, as it had done in previous years, by declaring player salaries, bonuses, benefits, etc., but also payments made to a Remuneration Trust. The SFA compliance officers must have known, both from the description and context of the reports, that such expenditures had some connection to player compensation.

“However, without any further investigation at the time, Rangers FC received its SFA license to compete in the 2011/2012 season. Rangers, therefore, were entitled to believe that they were not in breach of any SFA regulation requiring reporting of player compensation.”

Mr Johnston clearly implies that the SFA were in receipt of sufficient information to ascertain if Rangers correctly registered players (and considering the SFA president was on the board which sanctioned these decision was have to wonder), but the key point is missing from his testimony.

While disclosing this information to the SFA did Rangers reveal the existence of the alleged second contracts?  For the purposes of the SPL Commission, it doesn’t really matter how much players were paid, or if they received this money through a Remuneration Trust, what matters is: were contracts submitted and players correctly registered?  If not, then it doesn’t matter what else the club submitted to the SFA.

Sir David Murray, then Rangers owner, vehemently denied the existence of second contracts as recently as March this year, so it would appear unlikely that Rangers revealed these allegedly non-existent contracts at an earlier date.

Labouring this point slightly Johnston said:  If the SFA now decide to adopt a more focused evaluation of the data they request from its members in order to be granted a license, they should ensure that the legislation upon which they rely for enforcement and the corresponding sanctions are more transparent and predictable.”

For clarity, the information the SFA requires in order to grant a club licence is not being changed in any way.  The SFA and the SPL do, however, require clubs submit player contracts as part of the player registration process.  It is not the club licence which is in doubt here, it is the registration of players, Mr Johnston, we have to wonder why you are trying to focus away from this matter.

Our own club was brought into the issue: “A lawyer representing Celtic recently was successful in having charges against that club dropped because of the inadequacy of the SFA’s prescribed rules, regulations, and sanctions. The same principle should apply here.”

Perhaps time is playing tricks on Mr Johnston’s memory.  Paul McBride ensured a punishment imposed on Neil Lennon (not Celtic) was enforced in line with SFA rules.  Johnston also meanders on the subjects of match fixing and financial doping, distancing his former club from both, but neither charge is of any consequence.

Despite his extensive diatribe on the subject, at no point does the former Rangers chairman deny the central allegation – that for over a decade Rangers gave dozens of players second contracts which were not registered with the SPL or SFA.  Like Charles Green the previous day, he never suggested Rangers have been wrongly accused, he just complains about the club being accused.

There is a degree in Cognitive Bias in this matter if anyone is looking for material.

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  1. ernie lynch – That story must be based on a terrible mistake – it’s a religion of peace, doncha know? (thumbsup)

  2. Mr Johnson,director ,millionaire and easily duped businessman,why do we send kids to


    school ? Far easier to learn a funny handshake .





    Tried to c&p for you,but for some reason,it wouldn’t!



    Maybe Phil doesn’t like being blue………

  4. Another belter Paul. Green and Johnston have both spent a lot of time saying lots of things, but little on the most pressing matter:



    Did RFC corrupt it’s EBT scheme through the use of side-letters, and by failing to submit these letters to the SFA, did RFC compete with illegally registered players for hundreds of games?



    This is all that matters, and should be a fairly easy question to answer. Their silence on this specific point speaks volumes…

  5. Justice for the 96!



    Mr Cameron says newspapers reported false allegation about the behaviour of fans. He says the report finds flaws in the police operation and new evidence that the police carried out checks on those who had died in order to “impune their reputations”





    Not so easy to find a way to be taught it.



    Well,not for the likes of us.



    Some of his masonic references are tragic,tbh, And unbelievably obvious.



    His geometric,large circle,reference points,stuff just reminded me of when he loudly proclaimed Rangers debt at the time,and appealed for help.



    Coincidentally 33 million!



    Surprised he didnae change his name to Widowsson……

  7. philvisreturns



    12:38 on 12 September, 2012



    ‘ernie lynch – That story must be based on a terrible mistake – it’s a religion of peace, doncha know?”





    Not sure that, taking the long view, Christians have any right to the moral high ground here.



    Regarding Sam Bacile, the Californian estate agent who describes himself as an Israeli Jew, and who says his movie was funded by a hundred Jews, am I the only wondering whether he might look like Zero Mostel?

  8. Hillsborough Statement-164 Police Statements changed,all victims including children tested for alcohol levels, absolutely disgusting.Liverpool fans cleared of any blame.23 years too late.Well done to Andy Burnham MP for carrying the torch for the fans and Liverpool as a city.




    Cheers mate,I appreciate it. I’ll catch up with it when I get home.

  10. No Surrender Johnston knows that his reputation is about to be trashed and this is him getting his retaliation in early.

  11. !!Bada Bing!!



    A disgrace,watched the programme the other night,stopping a mother from holding her


    dead son ,as he was now the property of the coroner.

  12. It will not bring their loved ones back but maybe some of those family members alive today will finally be able to focus on grief rather trying to defend the reputations of their sons, husbands, brothers and fathers who died so tragically.




    David Cameron: “The families were right.”



    The Prime Minister said the independent panel had found the safety of the crowds at Hillsborough had been “compromised at every level”.



    The PM says the report is “black and white” in concluding “Liverpool fans were not the cause of the disaster”.



    PM: The panel found that 164 statements were “significantly amended”, including the removal of 116 negative comments about the leadership of the police, to push the blame for the tragedy onto the fans.



    Ed Miliband says it “shames us as a country” that it took 23 years to get to the truth.



    The ambulance service failed to implement their major incident plan fully. South Yorkshire police sought to deflect responsibility onto fans. The source of negative stories about fans (including by the Sun newspaper) was a local Sheffield news agency informed by senior police, and a local MP.

  13. Judith Moritz North of England correspondent, BBC News has been reading the report. The Sheffield news agency Whites and a local Tory MP Sir Irvine Patnick were the main sources of Sun ‘Truth’ article.

  14. Paul



    These past few posts of yours offer a simply marvellous counterpoint to the disingenuous and self-serving statements emanating from CG, AJ and their acoloytes.



    Without the sort of critique you offer, the Scottish MSM would most likely have had every reason to support their guff (cf. the almost complete lack of analysis of, or comment on, Green’s statement the other day).



    Plus, I’m sure you will have the gratitude of the self same MSM for keeping them straight on what is actually at issue, here …







  15. The report states that some individuals who died at Hillsborough could have had reservable asphyxia. It says it is highly likely what happened after 15:15 BST was “significant in determining how they died”.

  16. A thought occurred to me this morning walking to work. I passed a government building which had saltires flying from it. I could have sworn that there was a union flag or 2 flown during the recent Olympics, but that’s another story.



    My thought was this; if Celtic had been in a similar position to the noble ‘Gers, would we have looked to Government for solace in our troubles? Did Fergus lobby MPs and the likes to drum up Government support for our ailing club back in ’94? Can’t remember, but doubt it.



    Now I know for a fact that the stands at Ibrox are full of the ‘great’ and ‘good’ of Scottish business, who all seem to be behind this wallowing in Scottishness and Fabric of Society nonsense. Would the equivalent types in the stands at Parkhead be supportive of Lawell and Bankier whinging to Government? I doubt it. They would get short shrift anyway. It would be a pointless exercise. Celtic would have been allowed to die.



    How could the great and good of Scottish business at ibrox therefore have the lack of pride to support those connected to the ‘Gers going cap in hand to any institution that would listen to them. I’ll tell you why…..this Scottishness, this Fabric of Society, this Rangers = Scotland belief. Makes me utterly sick.



    There are those in the Celtic community who have worked a lot harder than I have to make a living in Scotland, but I take pride in the fact that most of us have had to work on merit for what we have. That is why the thought wouldn’t have entered my head to go to Government to bail my club out. I am self-sufficient, I expect my club to be. Rant over. HH

  17. Lennon n Mc....Mjallby on




    It’s a great laugh eh? Too stupid to realise the long con was only ever going to rob themselves.



    Stupid huns.

  18. “The new evidence that we’re presented with today makes clear in my view that these families have suffered a double injustice: the injustice of the appalling events, the failure of the state to protect their loved ones, and the indefensible wait to get the truth, and then the injustice of the denigration of the deceased – that they were somehow at fault for their own deaths. So on behalf of the government, and indeed our country, I am profoundly sorry that this double injustice has been left uncorrected for so long.”

  19. Thanks to all for the info. on the mad documentary dissing Islam. The world really is a mad place. The majority don’t want all the craziness…..all the time,everywhere. It’s like the human race is caught up in the psychosis of fanatics. How do we allow ourselves to be dominated by so few?


    That’s just rhetorical. I have no answers, and I don’t think there are any.


    Off to sort out my own corner of reality.



  20. ASonOfDan & !!Bada Bing!!


    I could weep hearing that statement about Hillsbourough


    corruption by the police and their cohorts in the MSM to smear the victims


    at all cost 164 statements amended & 115 completely withdrawn so the truth would be hidden.


    Justice for the 96 YNWA

  21. ernie lynch – Not sure that, taking the long view, Christians have any right to the moral high ground here.



    I’m not interested in the long view, Ernie. I’m interested in today. Christians, Jews, Hindus, etc. see their religion mocked and insulted every day of the year, and rarely decide to murder people for it. All these psychotic goons are proving with their threats and violence is that Bacile is right about them.



    Regarding Sam Bacile, the Californian estate agent who describes himself as an Israeli Jew, and who says his movie was funded by a hundred Jews, am I the only wondering whether he might look like Zero Mostel?



    Not many people know it, but the Fuhrer was a terrific dancer. (thumbsup)


    I’m delighted that The Hillsborough Disaster has finally brought a fair few facts to light,especially the disgraceful after-events by the police force involved as they tried to cover it up.



    And of those who assisted in it.



    It could have happened ANYWHERE in those days.



    There were absolutely plenty of times it could have happened to Celtic fans,either home or away.



    Kelvin McKenzie should never show his face in public again,and neither should any public figure involved.



    Andy Burnham,on the other hand,will never need to put his hand in his pocket if I ever bump in to him.



    Well played,son!

  23. jude2005 is Neil Lennon \o/ on




    Council have blocked this site?? Q R T You are there to work get on with it.

  24. Celtic FC mark their return to the UEFA Champions League after a four-year absence with a home fixture against last season’s quarter-finalists, SL Benfica.



    • Celtic will be hoping to get the better of Benfica, fellow former European champions, for the third time in the group stage. On the two previous occasions the clubs met at this phase, Celtic qualified in second place with the Lisbon side third.



    Past meetings


    • The clubs first met in 1969/70 when it took a coin toss to decide their European Champion Clubs’ Cup second round tie. Goals from Tommy Gemmell, Willie Wallace and Harry Hood gave Celtic a 3-0 first-leg win in Glasgow but Benfica responded with an identical victory in Lisbon thanks to Eusébio, Jaime Graça and Diamantino. Celtic went on to the final where they lost 2-1 to Feyenoord.



    • As in 1969, the two clubs posted identical home results in their UEFA Champions League meetings. In the 2006/07 group stage, Celtic won 3-0 through goals from Kenny Miller (2) and Stephen Pearson, while Benfica reversed the score in Lisbon with Gary Caldwell’s own goal and strikes from Nuno Gomes and Andrei Karyaka.



    • In 2007/08, Óscar Cardozo earned Benfica a 1-0 home victory before Aiden McGeady, now playing for Group G rivals FC Spartak Moskva, did the same for Celtic. The lineups in Glasgow on 6 November 2007 were:


    Celtic: Boruc, Naylor, Caldwell, Kennedy, McManus, Brown (Sno 89), Hartley, Jarošík (Donati 66), McGeady, Vennegoor of Hesselink (Killen 66), McDonald.


    Benfica: Quim, Luís Felipe, Edcarlos, Luisão, Léo, Katsouranis, Rui Costa (Bergessio 77), Pereira (Di María 61), Binya, Rodríguez, Cardozo (Nuno Gomes 77).



    Match background


    • Celtic are competing in the group stage for the seventh time and have made it to the last 16 twice before – on the two occasions they were grouped with Benfica.



    • Celtic have already posted two victories at home in this season’s competition, beating HJK Helsinki 2-1 in the third qualifying round and Helsingborgs IF 2-0 in the play-offs.



    • Benfica reached the quarter-finals last season, their best campaign since 2005/06 and only the third time they have got beyond the group stage in seven attempts.



    • The Lisbon club went five games unbeaten from the third qualifying round through the group stage last season, but lost their knockout away ties at FC Zenit St Petersburg and Chelsea FC.



    • Celtic have recorded nine wins and one draw from ten home matches against Portuguese opponents. Their most recent visitors were SC Braga for a UEFA Champions League qualifier in 2010/11 but a 2-1 victory failed to undo the damage of a 3-0 away defeat in Neil Lennon’s first European tie as manager.



    • Benfica’s only other trip to Scotland brought a 2-1 success at Heart of Midlothian FC 2-1 in the 1960/61 European Cup preliminary round, the first step on the road to their first continental crown.



    Team ties


    • Lennon played in both Celtic’s matches against Benfica in 2006/07 – lining up against Luisão – and was in the team that beat Boavista FC in the 2002/03 UEFA Cup semi-finals but lost to FC Porto in the final. With Northern Ireland he faced Benfica director Rui Costa in a 0-0 home qualifier for the 1998 FIFA World Cup.



    • Benfica assistant coach Minervino Pietra faced Scotland twice with Portugal, a 1-0 home win in 1980 UEFA European Championship qualifying and a 0-0 away draw in 1982 World Cup qualifying. Shéu, another Benfica director, played in both matches along with a 4-1 loss in Glasgow in the earlier campaign.



    • Lima was in the Braga side that eliminated Celtic in 2010/11 with Artur on the bench.



    • Eduardo Salvio played for Club Atlético de Madrid in their 1-0 win at Celtic in last season’s UEFA Europa League group stage.



    • Nicolás Fedor has faced Argentina’s Ezequiel Garay and Uruguay’s Maxi Pereira with his Venezuela national side. Fedor was at Valencia CF at the same time as Pablo Aimar but never featured alongside him in the first team.

  25. Good article, Paul.



    Keep shining that searchlight, as the guilty parties continue to tighten the noose round their own throats.

  26. jude2005 is Neil Lennon \o/ – This is why council try to make you paw through your own garbage like a hungry tramp.



    The “recycling” excuse is a load of nonsense. It’s to save them the effort so they can spend more time on CQN.



    Out of moral considerations, I refuse to recycle. (thumbsup)

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