More key information from FTT report for Nimmo Smith Commission


The enormity of the forthcoming SPL Commission report could easily be lost in the ocean of headlines which has engulfed this matter in recent years.  I’ve noted below more information from the recent First Tier Tribunal report on Rangers tax case, in an attempt to clarify some of the key issues.

From The Evidence:

“The Appellants’ first witness was Mr Red, a senior member of the group’s tax function.  He is a Chartered Tax Advisor and qualified as a tax inspector previously to joining the Appellants.”

“Mr Red insisted in his evidence that the Trust was not a means of “tax avoidance””.

“It was noted in an internal memo prepared by Mr Red dated 8 September 2005 to the Board of MIH that he had described the Trust as a form of “tax avoidance scheme””.

Dissenting opinion from Ms Poon:

The Nature of the Side-letters
“Another strand of evidence being tested was the nature and purpose of the side-letters.  Asked about the secrecy surrounding the side-letters, referring to the fact that they were not lodged with the SFA, nor disclosed in the long period of HMRC’s enquiry, Mr Red’s reply was: ‘I still say there is nothing secret about them. We have nothing to hide in these side letters’.

“It is not accepted that there had been no deliberate concealment of the side-letters, in view of how the first side-letter only came to light through the seizure of Mr Berwick’s file nearly four years into the enquiry.

“It is not accepted that the nondisclosure of the side-letters arose from a ‘credible’ view that Mr Red considered the side-letters irrelevant to HMRC’s enquiry. As a former Inspector of Taxes, Mr Red knew, or should have known, that the side-letters were highly relevant to the enquiry.”

“The side-letters showed a form of contractual arrangement, and they proved linkage between the sums contributed into the sub-trusts at the appointed dates and their withdrawal as loans from the sub-trusts as contemporaneous transactions. The contractual aspect and the linkage between the amounts of contributions to the main Trust and the sums loaned had been repeatedly raised in the enquiry correspondence.

“A fair conclusion to be drawn from the circumstantial evidence on the one hand, and Mr Red’s oral evidence on the other, is that the side-letters had been actively concealed. The reason for the concealment might have been, in Mr Red’s view, the side-letters could be incriminating evidence against the impression of the trust operation that he had been trying to give.”

“While not denying the proposition put to him by the Respondents that ‘there’s an overarching contract with each of the footballers, consisting of the written contract and the side letters’, Mr Red maintained that ‘it’s our view that the side-letter or the letters of undertaking do not need to be registered or lodged with the SFA’ (Day 3/31-32).”

So, in evidence, Rangers witness Mr Red, did not deny the proposition that there was an overarching contract with footballers consisting of the declared contract and side-letters, but “it’s our view” that side-letters did not need to be lodged with the lodge SFA.  Ms Poon suggests a fair conclusion is the side-letters were “actively concealed” as they could be “incriminating evidence”.

The SFA has issued disciplinary action against many clubs for erroneous registration but no club has ever faced a charge of actively concealing information necessary for proper registration.

The SFA president was a working director of Rangers when “our view” was established and was legally responsible for the club’s actions.  As I noted yesterday, but, frankly, can still not comprehend, on publication of this report the president announced himself “somewhat vindicated” by its contents.

Majority opinion:

John McClelland became a board member of Rangers in 2000 (legally responsible for conduct and oversight) and according to Wikipedia held senior board level positions in the electronics industry.  He was also a director of the SPL (legally responsible for conduct and oversight) between the company being formed 1997 and 2008.

The majority opinion, which favoured Rangers position in regards to income tax, noted the following about Mr Indigo, who was “a board member of Rangers since 2000. His previous career was in industry, latterly serving in senior executive roles.”

Mr Indigo “acknowledged that he was, however, aware of the overall content of arrangements made with players and did not consider these to be “secret”. He believed that the Trust had been used to pay appearance money and bonuses.”

According to rules established by SPL directors, including Mr McClelland, money paid in connection with football, including appearance money, has to be registered with the league.  It also has to be registered with the SFA.

When the Lord Nimmo Smith Commission reports, we will discover if this is what passes as vindication in Scottish football, or if a senior officeholder of the SFA, and others, will be dismissed in disgrace and banned, sine die, from the game.

We are busy pulling the next issue of CQN Magazine together.  If you would like to write an article, or take out some advertising , get in touch, article@cqnmagazine.co.uk.
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  1. I was going to recommend corkcelt to come out of retirement for a wee a bit of daytime navvying for kikinthenakas then a spot stewarding in the evenings and weekends.



    Would any of you give him with a reference?

  2. Philbhoy - It's just the beginning! on




    I do indeed know now!



    I do hope you and yours are all well!

  3. Brogan Rogan Trevino and Hogan supports Kano 1000


    13:16 on



    In old fashioned terms the ebt was the brown envelope in which the payment was delivered and I’m going to take some convincing that is not the case.

  4. googybhoy ♥ Celtic @14:11 I think corkcelt is one of those guys who goes on singing right up to verse number 27 of the song while everyone else on the supporters bus is flummoxed after the second.

  5. BRTH, thanks.



    Battered Bunnet, very well summarised, thank you.



    EmeraldBee, there are a few more to come. Discretion suggested it was better to wait on the outcome before collating things for a review. Please send over an update if convenient.



    Miki67, I’m proud of you for your strength.



    STFB, let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.

  6. John bummer Brown is more famous than I thought,msm taking pictures of his Madame


    Tussauds waxworks dummy….?……whit?.. that’s him?

  7. googybhoy ♥ celtic




    £20 provvy cheque for your birthday! Then off to dee’s in the Trongate for a rig oot.

  8. miki 67 .



    Fall 7 times , stand up 8 .



    Who else is going to buy all those crap choons ?.



    Big up !

  9. If they are stripped of titles I will truly rejoice.



    They won’t be .



    All my life they have conspired to cheat us.



    Nothing has changed.




  10. Very funny Ntassoolla but kikinthenakas and myself are friends so we don’t need references. I see you are building a fan Club, very impressive. I agree with the others in as much as you are a clever git with excellent language skills but I still wouldn’t want to shake your hand.

  11. bankiebhoy1



    I’m so old I cut off Caligula’s legs parking the chariot.



    The meat pies did a bomb too.

  12. Imagine getting PAID to watch Celtic!



    Ok I know stewards are supposed to watch the crowd but you could always peek.



    Then again joining in with COYBIG might be considered getting carried away!

  13. …. on the I’m so car thing – there must be a whole generation with scars on their knees from those car canoodling contorsionist moments when you banged the under dash mounted eight track (which were about the size of a filing cabinet) during passionate Saturday night moments.

  14. I’d rather sit beside corkcelt’s coat at a sellik game, than be in the same row as that natassaloola dude.

  15. philbhoy , all well thanks . Working just now and posting in between customers ,i lurk all the time but usually on a catch up basis . Hope you are well and try keep the heid on the live updates at games

  16. Auldheid



    They should not be in the SFL,at all.



    They are a new club without 3 years accounts.



    Deals were done.




  17. south of tunis :14:16 on26 February, 2013




    I know,I know…..Amazon just sent me ‘Band of Horses’ “Mirage Rock”.


    Probably sacrilege to a man of your eclectic tastes, but it sounds good in the bath.


    : > )))))))

  18. Philbhoy - It's just the beginning! on




    We went to the EC Final in MIlan in a Ford Corsair.



    Five of us. One driver.



    Apart from the result, it was a great week or so.

  19. Murdochbhoy, yermanfromMK – Are you old enough to remember the days before IP watchers and email alert notifications?’



    I don’t even know what an IP watcher is.



    My personal emails these days are mostly herbal viagra spam. Perhaps the internets are trying to tell me something… (thumbsup)



    ernie lynch – It’s like the curtain being pulled back in The Wizard of Oz.



    I haven’t been this disillusioned since I found out wrestling was fixed. (thumbsup)



    googybhoy ♥ Celtic – Philvis would have to do the executive boxes and board room of course.



    They shall know me as The Great and Powerful Philvis: Devourer of Prawn Sandwiches. (thumbsup)

  20. setting free the bears



    That is the only conclusion we can reach and the impact of that will be extremely unpredictable, could kill more than our game.

  21. Ntassoolla



    Hmmm………the ole Celtic Park stewarding debate has been doing the rounds for ages since we went to, outside firms to make up the numbers.



    I’d nominate CQN’ers EuroChamps67, bjmac, and goldstar10 for the stewarding supervision because of they efficient way they run the Gazebo on matchdays, – it’s the benchmark.



    EC67 does tend to get a bit star struck sometimes like when the guy from Primal Scream rolls up Kerrydale street and he’s googling trying to remember who he is, and posing for pictures with *his hero* Danny McGrain every week gets monotonous.



    bjmac supplies the laughs, and snickers bars, and goldstar10 gives away tickets, especially for big Euro nights.



    Hail Hail



    p.s. The Battered Bunnet likes to roll up, when the other celebrities are already seated.

  22. Burgas Hoops @14:23 proffers “I’d rather sit beside corkcelt’s coat at a sellik game, than be in the same row as that natassaloola dude.”



    Thanks for referring to me as a dude. I rather like that.



    I might take a job as a steward wherever it is you sit just to annoy the pair of you.

  23. Since there has been mention of old cars today , whatever happened to the wee blue invalid cars ( sorry probably not PC but that’s what we all called them ) that drove into Paradise on match days ?


    One of many things I remember from being a wee bhoy and going to the games.

  24. This is the true story of John MacGregor ,a Celtic Steward.



    John is originally from Castlemilk.



    He has lived in Kirkcaldy,Fife for the past 20 years.



    John’s permanent job is with Fife council.


    He is a Bin man.



    John takes h Glasgow bus to Buchanan Street for every home match.


    He walks to and from Buchanan street bus station.



    Mid week games are a problem.



    John starts a day shift at 5.30 am .


    He rises before 5.00 am .



    There is no longer a bus to get him home to Kirkcaldy after a midweek match.



    So he get’s a lift home from me.



    We have a lot of dedicated staff at Celtic,but none more than John MacGregor.




  25. Auldheid



    Given that there was some initial appetite for stripping titles albeit with the corrupt counter offer of being sold their continuity at top league level, I would expect similar title stripping sanctions now.



    However the extent of these may be drastically reduced since the corrupt 5 way agreement did not deliver all of the sweeteners that they promised to Charles, who would have reneged on them anyway, at the time.



    Whether they strip 10 league titles or just one League Cup, there will be a tidal storm of anger from the emboldened hordes at Ibrox. Politicians are acutely aware of such possibilities and I doubt they have failed to find a way to inform LNS of their misgivings.



    My prediction- 2 or 3 titles stripped, some financial reparation (deferred), and a Civil War response from Sevcoites.

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