The fifth instalment of ‘The CQN Podcast: A Celtic State of Mind’ is now available to play and download.
For this week’s show, Paul John Dykes is joined by author Stephen Sullivan and ex-Middlesbrough and Republic of Ireland striker, Bernie Slaven.
Stephen is a former Celtic View reporter, and is now a writer and editor at FIFA.com. In 2013, his outstanding debut book – Sean Fallon: Celtic’s Iron Man – was released to commercial success and critical acclaim. The book was recently adapted into an excellent feature-length documentary just in time to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Celtic’s Lisbon triumph.
Despite never playing for the club, Bernie Slaven always wore his heart on his sleeve when it came to his affection for Celtic. After spells at Morton, Airdrie and Queen of the South, Bernie found his scoring boots with Albion Rovers in the mid-90s.
In a bid to step up a level, he wrote to every top flight British club, and, in 1985, he finally got his big move to Middlesbrough.
Despite being born in Paisley, and brought up in Castlemilk, Bernie represented Jack Charlton’s Republic of Ireland in the early 90s, and it was in an Ireland shirt that the lifelong Hoops’ fan was finally able to play at Celtic Park during Pat Bonner’s Testimonial in 1991.
Last week’s show – The Great EBT Swindle – attracted over 9,000 listeners, and a very interesting update has since been received from an SPFL club on their refusal to respond to the EBT decision at the Supreme Court.
The email from the club, who themselves went into administration in the aftermath of Rangers’ collapse, is reproduced here with identities redacted in brackets:
“The situation regarding the ‘Big Tax Case’ and Rangers Football Club, is a complex and very emotive issue as you will be aware, and as a club we believe that we should concentrate on matters affecting our own club, without getting involved in areas which could become a distraction and highly political. [The Club Chairman] takes a different tact and approach to the Chairman who was in post when our club went into administration, and does not make unnecessary media comments unless it is in the best interests of our club, or protecting our club’s interests, as we unfortunately lost a lot of friends and credibility within Scottish Football following the financial collapse of [The Club], which we are working hard to repair.
In addition, [The Club Chairman] was involved at the sharp end trying to keep our club afloat, when we went into administration because of primarily, a failure to pay tax due (along with multiple other debts), and we were only minutes away from being liquidated ourselves. At that time he saw a number of things that have never been reported, which without question bring the Scottish game into disrepute. As a consequence, we feel it would be highly hypocritical for us to call into question someone else’s integrity.
Having been to a recent meeting with the SFA and SPFL, where this matter was discussed, [The Club Chairman] is aware that the league bodies sought legal counsel on the case, and were advised there would be very little chance of taking retrospective action against an organisation that no longer exists, so was reassured that it was not a case of sitting back doing nothing.”
This email raises some serious questions on what unreported matters would bring the Scottish game into disrepute, and exactly what was asked of the non-Arbroath native legal eagle by SFA and SPFL Chiefs.
We await the official SPFL response on the Supreme Court’s decision.
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