Ladbrokes SPFL-PR warning media to stop title stripping talk


I’m told by a broadcast journalist friend that Jim Traynor, of PR company Level5, started Newco Rangers broadcast media conference yesterday with a warning to journalists that discussion about title stripping was off limits.

The law was that if manager Mark Warburton was asked about the proposed sanction for Oldco Rangers financial doping the conference would be stopped.

Say what you like about journalists, but they regard being told what to ask, or not to ask, as a line in the sand issue. Traynor, a journalist for decades, should have known better than to make such a rookie mistake.

He was told that attempts to subvert discussion about Oldco being stripped of titles is not something that would be accommodated. By the broadcast media, anyway.

Warburton was subsequently asked about title stripping and although he was happy to answer, I’m told, this angered the would-be news-denier, whereupon he “lost his temper”.

Post-conference there was a bit of chat about how they would be able to appropriately report on less-partisan issues, like the Level5 PR-controlled Ladbrokes SPFL, although there was a consensus that “He’ll fall out with everyone soon enough. He always does”.

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  1. Tim Malone Will Tell on

    I imagine that both of his employers – Sevco and Ladbrokes – are desperate to avoid title stripping discussions.

  2. Ray Winstone's Big Disembodied Heid on

    How can an outfit with no money no line of credit and crippling debts afford the services of a PR company, or is Jabba doing it pro bono?

  3. Paul67


    Now I recognise you are trying to move the discussion on,but, I have no interest in Traynor.


    On my way into the Ground last night, I walked past a group of Molde fans, engaged in some banter with Celtic fans


    We should be asking how they knew this and we didn’t, as they sang


    Why Why Why


    Do U have Ronny Deila


    True story and would like an answer

  4. So reading earlier the stripping of titles and cups is covered in the 5 way agreement, even so, did the new team not require to adhere to that agreement too ?


    If they broke the agreement then the agreement is void, no ?


    Breaking the agreement started when the appeal was lodged against the fines imposed by the LNS whitewash, no ?


    So there is no reasonable excuse left to allow them to keep their tainted titles.


    This is also a big opportunity for Celtic Plc to demonstrate they were neither party to or condoned the 5 way agreement.

  5. Tim Malone Will Tell on

    I can see the Sandy Bryson type argument being wheeled out – “we didn’t know it was illegal when we did it, so how could we be gaining an advantage?”



    doublethink is second nature to these shysters…

  6. Cowiebhoy


    Let it go ffs, give us a break its all been said. I’m more interested on what thems are up to, we all watched it last night, we all saw it, we all know what happened, all your doing is encouraging Huns and the SMSM.

  7. Tim m..,


    And sandy Bryson needs to be one of the first out of the door, preferably ha and a few others will be the subject of a serious organised crime investigation.

  8. So they won it on the park fair and square they contend.


    Ok, not a problem, pay your bills then.


    Or should all the cheats, the athletes etc get their medals that have been stripped from them back cos they won it fair and square in the field of play.


    They will get away with it again, it’s scotland after all.

  9. The Battered Bunnet on

    Johansen and Bitton are suspended for the next Euro game.



    Broony’s injured.



    Hopefully 3 weeks is enough to get him fit, or we’re looking like fielding an untried and untested central midfield in front of a tried and failed central defence.



    The arithmetic says if we beat Ajax and Fener, we qualify.



    The instinct doesn’t sit well with the arithmetic.

  10. Big Nan @ 12.22 hrs.



    It seems as though Paul 67 has listened to your plea.



    Good call




  11. Tony Donnelly



    You’re like salt in a wound



    You’re like dehydration the morning after the night before



    You’re like constipation. I just can’t get you outta my ass



    Where’s alzheimer’s when we need it

  12. I imagine the SPFL statement will go along the lines of:



    The decision was made by the SPL and SFL, since we have merged and moved on, we feel it would be in everyones interest to do the same…………………………next!!!!!!!!!!!!!



    Haw, Timmy at the back………….sit doon.

  13. TBB,


    Johansen suspended, you say that like its a disadvantage, and to be honest Biton has not shown up that well at this level either, personally I’m not too unhappy that they will miss the next game, I will be unhappy if we win and they immediately get their places back at the expense of winners.

  14. Paul67



    do you agree downsizing has finally turned us into a shambles of a team ?



    And do you believe we Come out of each transfer window stronger than we went into it ? As is the plan..or so we are told.



    really past caring what happens the Huns.. Sadly I believe there will be a cheating team in blue always playing in govan .



    Our board don’t seem to care this past 4/5yrs so why should we ?

  15. Jungle Jim Hot Smoked on



    I would imagine it was all to do with the suitability of the name for the ditty. Ronny was successful in Norway. The Molde fans seemed a good bunch and that chant/song would fit with their general, pleasant demeanor. I honestly don`t think it was to do with some secret knowledge they had or tha Ronny was considered a dud in Norway. He wasn`t.




  16. Jungle Jim Hot Smoked on

    I thought Traynor no longer worked for Sevco? Why would he be starting their conference and what authority does he have to instruct journalists? Confused.




  17. Ohhhh nice one, there’s yer dinner.





    Aln B wrote:


    Did the EBT scheme provide an unfair advantage between 2001 and 2011 ? Well, Rangers FC in that period won 5 League titles, 4 Scottish Cups and 6 League Cups.



    Not exactly overwhelming. Even more interesting is the fact that in the ten years PREVIOUS to that (1991-2001) they won …. 9 League titles, 5 Scottish Cups and 5 League Cups.



    So …. in the period under discussion, Rangers actually won LESS trophies than they did in a similar period before it. I’d suggest that is hardly evidence of “unfair advantage” !!!



    Rob Wilson’s suggestion that: “How much of an advantage we’ll never know, but I think we can safely say that the evidence points to clubs that spend more money being more successful” means less the more you look at it — any football fan will tell you that money spent doesn’t “safely” equate with success.



    There’s little doubt that this judgement is unsound.



    Perhaps at the risk of applying further common sense, does your example above not highlight that there is a direct correlation between the finances available to football clubs (particularly in Scotland) in relation to their competitors and the sporting advantage gained? As you rightly point out, Rangers were extremely successful during the period 1991 – 2001, during which time their potentially biggest competitors (Celtic) were in a state of disarray due to years of financial mismanagement.



    Once a more level playing field was established following share issues and other capital raising measures, the funds available to Celtic were much greater and hence they could be more competitive with Rangers. So the decline in Rangers’ success that you have highlighted above can be directly linked to the increase in wealth of Celtic over this period.

  18. Re post from last blog: I couldn’t care less about Jim Traynor.



    Not closing down their man, (Boyata actually moved away from him) for the first goal and Blackett being out fought for the second by a 40 yr old when second favourite is not tactical.



    We are hollow and mentally weak, as Neil Lennon said about Mowbray’s team.



    Lusting had a very similar ball drop to him as their man did to score the first goal. Before he could get a shot away, their midfield man raced back to nick the ball away from him.



    How many times did our midfield do that?




    Rant possibly over!!




    I’m still with Ronny, but if missing Brown and Simunovic creates that type of performance then we are in trouble.





    Ok, I want Craig Gordon dropped also.




    There might be more CSC.




    Árd Macha

  19. Moneyball is killing us now.




    Poor scouting is killing us now.



    Being in the SPFL is killing us now.



    Ronnie & Johnnie are killing us now.



    What is going to change?




  20. So the PR company for one club is trying to cut down talk of title stripping. Now surely this runs the risk of damaging the reputation of the SPFL if it is seen to allow cheats to prosper? What does the PR company for the League have to say abut this?



    Oh wait.



    Why do the words interest and conflict come to mind so readily?

  21. I posted on Wednesday, that from the moment the HMRC verdict was announced, all of the media had one job. The job was to destroy any notion that the titles could be stripped. Kill it before it grows. Journalism in this country is shameful, disgraceful and simply corrupt.

  22. The Battered Bunnet on 6th November 2015 2:26 pm



    Your arithmetic is correct, and your instinct may well be too. My optimistic streak keeps me living in hope.

  23. Why don’t we bring Yogi down from Inverness as a defensive coach.He could also tell the current players how lucky they are to play for our great club,remember what he said when he signed for us.


    As a bonus he would had tore the head of Commons for his behaviour when he subbed against Molde.

  24. Long read, good article.



    Rangers paid players using a tax avoidance scheme which it is now stated in law, was liable for income tax paid, and none was paid. This equate to them cheating the tax man, and Scottish football for nigh on a decade. I’ll be honest, writing that feels great.





    There is scope for appeal, so it may not be the final word, but I can’t see who will. Both MIH & Rangers themselves are now in the hands of the liquidators and I don’t see their motivation to pursue this further. If Murray wanted to I m not sure he can, as again MIH are in liquidation, and so he is not in any form of control of events or decisions there.





    I felt quite a few emotions yesterday. I lurked on the RTC blog almost from its inception, never feeling qualified to comment as some fine minds were debating points of law and tax regulation in which I am merely a layman, but it was engrossing, and the more I read and found out the bigger my desire to see Rangers brought to book for their actions.





    Through the hugely delayed first FTT tribunal decision I was confident that Rangers would be found guilty – it seemed such a clear example of improper use of an EBT scheme to subsidise player salaries, including the existence of side letters, the determination to hide what they were doing from both the taxman and the SFA and the decision to sell Rangers for a pound rather than face the potential liability of the tax assessment; I could see no way they would not be found guilty.







    We all know now we were wrong, and apart form the redoubtable Ms Poon, who refused to sign up to the decision and submitted her own contradictory and highly critical findings, Rangers were in the main exonerated. Of course there was admission of guilt on some elements and they certainly were by no means completely exonerated, but the narrative was decided, Rangers were innocent, victims of a nasty HMRC vendetta that was wasting all our money and that was that.





    Except it wasn’t. HMRC exercised their rights to appeal, and again substantively they lost. Again they appealed, and finally, “common sense” held the day and the “self evident” tax avoidance scheme has been indentified for what it was.



    So my feelings yesterday were certainly happiness that “justice” has been seen to be done – I’ll come to football justice later. Also satisfaction that a story I have long followed, I’ll wear the “obsessed” tag if they want, I know Celtic occupy much much more of my time than either Rangers does but this story was too big and too significant in my mind to ignore, much as the Scottish press would have liked us to. Also a sense of contentment for those who put themselves front and centre in the face of hostility from bullying Rangers fans, the slavering press and many others with vested interests in not rocking the status quo; for Rangers tax case himself, who opened my eyes to much of the detail in this story, for Celtic research, for Barcabhoy, for Phil Mac, for the late great Paul Mc Conville – good good people in my eyes who wanted to pull the curtain back and let us see how devious the wizard had been all this time.





    Today there is a new feeling, what now?





    Lord Nimmo Smith we now has already judged on the side letters issues in a hamstrung investigation the parameters of which were determined by the very bodies who had most to lose if they were found to have acted negligently or worse. The legal position of the tax liabilities themselves were not a consideration and the investigation itself was not shown any of the existent side letters to the best of my knowledge. It was also to be the final word on the whole Rangers Tax Case issue. Almost as if those funding the investigation had reason to fear if its parameters were set too wide.





    Its conclusion was that Rangers had cheated in not making full declarations with regard to player contracts, but no sporting advantage had accrued. The penalty was a £250k fine and a 12 month signing ban, which of course they were allowed to have start after they had a pre season of signing players. The fine is still in dispute, I m unclear if the money was withheld from prize money and 2nd Rangers want it back, as “it wisnae us” or if they haven’t paid the money and the SPFL are seeking payment. Either way, it’s been handled with the dignity and class once can associate with any iteration of Rangers and the SPFL and Rangers re in arbitration over the matter, as stated in their accounts.



    Subsequently Lord Nimmo Smiths findings have also been used by press and Rangers fans to justify the same club notion, despite 1) him not being asked to decide on that and 2) his comments on the mater being contradictory throughout his report. The desired “same club” narrative was clear and the bits that suited that were repeated ad nausea until they begin to taken as “fact”.





    So the football justice has been dealt with, as far as those in high office in Scottish football are concerned, and they would all like us now to be good and just go away.







    Except it hasn’t. The cloud over whether or not Rangers cheated has been removed: as we speak today they did, and additional to that it is the Law Lords considered opinion that if Rangers had not cheated there is a doubt whether the players they signed would have come to Rangers and contributed to the on field success they had during this period.





    That alone should be sufficient for the football authorities to want to open an new enquiry into the period 2011-2009 at Rangers, not at the behest of Celtic or “obsessed mhanks” or whatever they want to call us, but for the good, and yes, integrity of the entire game.





    I don’t want this to be a Celtic vs. Rangers thing. It’s likely we were the club most affected as we would have been the club mostly incompetition for trophies but all football teams playing in Scottish football, and so their supporters, were wronged and should be seeking to see justice served. As in 2012 with “no to Newco” the authorities will only listen when there is a broad range of opinion from all quarters of the game in Scotland massed in opposition to what they would like to do.





    The governing body should be proactively coming out and saying “in light of these findings we have serious reservations over the scope, conduct and decision of the Lord Nimmo Smith enquiry and want to launch a fresh, wide reaching independent review, in which our conduct will also be scrutinised”





    Except they won’t. They want all this to just go away. Already today the papers are again toeing the line and trying to set the agenda – the LNS review can’t be re opened, there will be no title stripping.



    The media are again hoping to shape the narrative, get the idea embedded quickly that despite how you may feel, tough, and it’s a done deal. Nonsense.





    It was amusing to see 2nd Rangers distance themselves from their predecessor club, the valiant determination to be seen as the same club by everyone else except when it comes to any wrongdoing or monies owed is almost charming in its transparency. Only the very very gullible and Rangers / Sevco fans would swallow it, luckily they are one and the same people, so that’s good.





    For what it’s worth I really don’t know how I feel about the stripping of titles. I know I don’t want Celtic to be announced as league or cup winners in their place for any of the years in question. We win our trophies by playing hard on the field and can take pride in every one of them; I don’t want the tag of “tainted titles” hanging over us, as it does Ibrox. It’s an emotional topic and I m sure other Celts will feel differently to me about this, but I m lukewarm on removing titles, unless we are talking about the “Sir” in front of David Murray’s name.



    However a waived 12 month signing ban and a £250 thousand pound fine seem an insufficient punishment for year after year of doping Scottish football, so in my opinion LNS’s decision needs to be scrapped, hell even give back the £250k for now, and a new wider reaching, fully independent and unlimited enquiry should be launched, with title stripping as one possible sanction available to them.





    Let the process run its course and be transparent and at the end of it, hopefully, we can all see an acceptable punishment for crimes committed handed down. And then the rehabilitation of old Rangers can begin and the fans that TUPE’d over to Sevco can be brought back into the wider fold of Scottish football.





    I d also wonder if any enquiry into the original FTT decision will take place, the verdict of yesterday was quite damning on the original decision (Ms Poon excepted) and how they could miss such a transparent, poorly disguised scheme for paying players without paying the tax due.





    And lets be thankful to HMRC, Ms Poon and the many many others who were not prepared to go along with the narrative the football authorities and some of those in the establishment it would seem wanted us to. Hail Hail







    Factually these opinions are incorrect, if the member clubs want a new review, there will be one, and if they want title stripping to be a possible sanction, it will be available

  25. Dontbrattbakkinanger on

    JJHS- from the end of previous-I thought the support did their best last night, esepecially during the second half , to lift the team.



    I didn’t stay to the bitter end,as I could not see us salvaging even a point.



    I thought they weren’t a bad side, even though they reverted to the usual sneaky Continental trick of passing to a player wearing the same colour jersey.



    We were just rubidge; good job I was wearing my lucky poppy or it could have been worser.

  26. Couldn’t give a toss about the Newco media conference or whether they strip titles off the old Rangers or not.



    Watched the game late last night and thought we got our asses well and truly kicked. Congrats to Molde who played us off the park. They were quicker, smarter and all round better footballers. It’s a sad reflection on our club that a team from Norway can be so much better than us.



    The only bright spark was your Tierney. Thought he looked like the only Celtic player who could get into their team.



    Biggest disappointment for me is that because the other result went in our ‘favour’ we still think we are in with a chance. I know I will have hope when the next game comes round but if I’m honest we should expect to be beaten again. True to form we will likely win against Ajax and then fail dramatically to a late winner in the final game. Thereby living the nightmare all over.

  27. The Battered Bunnet on




    I think we should just play Commons, Armstrong, Allan, Rogic and Ciftci all ‘in the hole’ where they prefer to play, just to annoy Johansen when he’s suspended.

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