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. Paul,



    Thanks for giving us all a recap of the findings over the last couple of days in relation to the side letters.



    If the verdict is that RFC were guilty of breaking the rules, then as you have quite rightly suggested in the past, this could possibly be the biggest sporting scandal ever to be revealed in British history to date.



    If the verdict is ‘guilty’, I do have my doubts about LNS recommending any punishment that will fit the crime and also whether or not it will be possible to hold Newco liable for the punishment.



    However, out of curiosity, hypothetically speaking, what punishment do you think LNS might recommend, which would be fitting of such a crime, if he decides that cheating of this proportion has in fact occurred and Newco should be held accountable?



    (Obviously it is a hypothetical question and one which doesnt require a response if you feel uncomfortable answering).




  2. The Battered Bunnet on




    Yip, a good decision rather than a quick one, and however it falls, it will be detailed and referenced beyond dispute imo.



    However, the fact that bonuses and appearance money were used to fund the trusts, and that these were accepted by Rangers’ Counsel as being contractual, will take some very clever lawyering to excuse.

  3. Why would newco not be responsible for the LNS findings?


    I thought that as part of the deal done between challs and his consortium (with the footballing errr authorities) was that they would accept any consequences imposed on the dead club,


    or am I being my usual too simplistic self?

  4. Bada .I’m just back in after goin aff oot.


    The CAPS were just to show that I was pure beelin :O) hh

  5. Picked up my tickets for Ross County today and it would appear that indeed it will be an away game on a Saturday with a 3pm ko.



    Does anyone know what other Scottish games are being covered by either SKY or ESPN that weekend?



    Thanks in advance.

  6. HT


    I wish that was the case, that way the blonde bomshell wouldnt feel the need to book every available holiday going, its a sad day when even T4 and TTT are sympathetic to my toils :-)

  7. MurdochauldandHay @ 18:14 on



    where did it state Sevco games?



    Gavin Patterson, BT Retail chief executive, said: “I’m delighted we’ve been able to add some very exciting sports rights to our portfolio.



    “This allows us to offer even more quality live football, including first games from the Scottish top flight and our first European competition rights. There will also be the best of US sports courtesy of this deal, which will give customers more choice and further broaden the appeal of BT Sport.”



    The deal means BT Sport customers will be able to see live coverage of the:


    FA Cup for the 2013-14 season


    Clydesdale Bank Scottish Premier League until the end of the 2016-17 season


    UEFA Europa League and German Bundesliga to the end of the 2014-15 season


    plus a host of US sports currently shown on ESPN America, including NCAA College Basketball, NCAA College Football and NASCAR

  8. Tallybhoy I spent a wee bit of time in Poland in the early 90’s and the place was overrun by Fiat 126’s. I looked on wiki. 1.3m produced in Italy and 3.3m in Poland



    I had a hair raising experience being driven from Coatbridge to Glasgow in one with an Italian priest at the wheel. He crashed the thing about two weeks later and how he survived is a miracle, because the entire roof and pillars were completely flattened. Having witnessed the structural shortcomings of the car the priests took it as a sign from God and did not replace it. It’s no wonder the thing only weighed about 600 kilos.


    They were not amused when one of the boys asked “So, Father, are you telling us God doesn’t like Fiats?”



    Incidentally those Italian priests all rated the Morris Traveller very highly. So much so they used to have arguments over who was to drive it.



    I’m not much of a car person myself and like many people in London running one would be a complete waste of money which can be better spent on drink.

  9. At least the match is on the box ra morra.


    Barça v Real tonight.


    Thank god for all that,


    Watching the news could drive yez nutz these days.

  10. joe millers shorts on

    When LNS finds against the RFC i predict that Campbell Ogilvie will be asked to resign. This will then be held up a one of the “punishments”

  11. Che



    Agree with you mate. Posted before that the berrs insistence on unbroken history will catch up with them in LNS enquiry.


    How can it not?

  12. Che



    My word things must be bad to get sympathy from thon pair!






    So no chance ours will get moved at short notice then?

  13. Cars is it?



    First family car was an Austin A30.1960



    Reg number. ASB 716.



    Pop up indicators, pull out choke and a starting handle.



    I think they’ve stopped making them.

  14. Ntassoola



    When – not if – I win the lottery I intend to buy a Maserati Quattroporte.



    If I win enough I will buy two – one here in Italia and one in Scotland.




  15. joe millers shorts



    19:07 on 26 February, 2013



    Hope your right…the man is as slippery as an eel and has the morals of a guttersnake.hh

  16. A Ceiler Gonof Rust on

    Tallybhoy, see when I win the bingo, I’m buying Mrs TET a fruit pudding.



    TET, I’m coming back out in April (probably 6th – 13th), I’ll bring said fruit pudding when I come:-)



    We can have a rematch at your gaff……………………….and a fatbhoy fry up.

  17. charles kickham



    19:02 on


    26 February, 2013


    Choices – choices



    Barca – real Madrid






    Aberdeen – Ross county






    Or Everton v Oldham on itv London sky channel 973.

  18. Tbb



    i reckon the most Damning evidence to emerge from the fttt will be in relation to punishment, if LNS finds against oldco in relation to any charges that is. He has to go for jugular. The fttt is clear that oldco deliberately didn’t disclose side letters to help with he tax arrangements. If they broke the rules, they did so n relation to a conscious decision. He would have yo hammer them.

  19. one important thing that convinces me of collusion in all of this, what other business


    going in to liquidation would be allowed to do what they have done ?

  20. oldco are guilty as sin, they hide side contracts, did not lodge said contracts with the spl and those said contracts assured football related income. every other club follows the rule and we all know the consequence for we did not, loss the game and disqualification.



    the media are at games on a free pass, they are not financially or emotionally screwed over the fans are. the media boys will say their guilt is enough we should all move on, but not me, oldco should be striped of titles and those titles should be given to their rightful owers. we the fans have been cheated, we paid our money in good faith and one club robbed us of a fair playing field.



    all the stuff about witchhunts etc… is just an attempt to have ordinary fans think they should leave it well alone. if you were robbed in the street and your money was stolen would you call the police? would you accept you should not get your money back because the boy that robbed you spent it on a new pair of shoes? would you ask the police to drop the charges because its bad enough the poor mans reputation has been tarnished?



    no me neither!!!!!!



    oh and dont give me that, we’ll strip them but dont awared the titles etc… to another team. that is just mad, think about it, your house gets robbed everythings stolen when the police catch the man all thats lift is a couple of picture/ pictureframes etc… are you gonna say ok, just keep them?



    no me neither!



    if sevco fans want to get angry then so be it, if the guy that robbed you was gonna getangery because your goods were being returned would you compromise?



    no me neither!!!!



    first stop kerrydale street, we’ll have our 5 title please and we’ll celebrate our 6 league titles at the end of this season, in fact if i was celtic i would demand those titles be given to us or we’ll sue for lose of earning.



    hail hail

  21. The Spirit of Arthur Lee on

    A french fry walks into a bar and says to the bartender, “Hey, could i get a beer please?”


    The bartender looks at him shaking his head and says, “No , we don’t serve food here.”

  22. Sky Sports News


    @ SkySportsNews


    London Welsh charged by RFU with fielding ineligible player in number of Premiership matches this season.



    Interesting to see how long it takes RFU to deal with this and what the punishment will be.

  23. The Spirit of Arthur Lee on

    Two jumber cables walk into a bar. The bartender says, “You guys better not start anything in here!”

  24. Fiat 128 3p coupe


    Oh yes I am that cool !!!


    Loved it. Wish I still had it



    Would the stripping of 5 title be a world record?


    Would mark the half wit hately think it was like a new signing?

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