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Nimmo Smith Commission noted unlawful tax affairs beyond their remit

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Lord Nimmo Smith’s Scottish Premier League’s commission made clear their remit and the bounds on their decision:

“The Tax Tribunal has held (subject to appeal) that Oldco was acting within the law in setting up and operating the EBT scheme.

“The SPL presented no argument to challenge the decision of the majority of the Tax Tribunal

and Mr McKenzie (solicitor acting on behalf of the SPL) stated expressly that for all purposes of this Commission’s Inquiry and Determination the SPL accepted that decision as it stood, without regard to any possible appeal by HMRC.

“Accordingly we proceed on the basis that the EBT arrangements were lawful. What we are concerned with is the fact that the side letters issued to the Specified Players, in the course of the operation of the EBT scheme, were not disclosed to the SPL and the SFA as required by

their respective Rules.”

On this basis, Lord Nimmo Smith’s commission found that a legal tax loophole, inappropriately administered and which broke SFA and SPL rules, did not amount to a sporting advantage.

The Commission was clear their determination was bound by the Tax Tribunal and not influenced by the possibility of a successful HMRC appeal.  We have no ruling on today’s question – whether a decade-long illegal tax regime conferred sporting advantage.

In noting their thoughts so clearly, the law lords opened the door to a subsequent determination based on a successful HMRC appeal.

The SFA and SPFL (previously known as SPL) must now address this question.

It is worth noting; SFA and SPFL officials have been trying to steer media away from looking into their affairs.  These executives have no power on this matter.  The clubs will determine what happens, not those watching their own hide.

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292 Comments

  1. Andrew Kerins Green and White Army on

    Re players the dead club signed and were forgotten Adamczuk fae Dundee was one , I don’t think he ever played for them and they only signed him to stop us getting him

  2. Mr Pastry how did you get on with my question to you yesterday re coaches and managers? H H Hebcelt

  3. coolmore mafia on

    LNS had a limited remit. Campbell Ogilvie presented allegedly misleading information. I should stress that LNS was engaged in a private capacity. His opinions and conclusions were not binding in law. Today’s judgement by 3 law lords is binding. Not only is their conclusion superior, but it renders the LNS conclusion flawed and irrelevant.

     

     

    from johnjames site

     

     

    get yir finger oot Peter

  4. CONEYBHOY on 5TH NOVEMBER 2015 8:27 AM

     

    3.5 hours till I jet in to Glasgow. Can’t wait. Hotel room has no window, wonder if that will be weird.

     

     

     

     

    Does early kick off mean I will have an early night or more beer?

     

     

    ‘jet in…’……………mmmmmmm,are you…….;]

  5. winning captains on 5th November 2015 9:27 am

     

     

    Cheers. Look forward to reading it, Caesar & The Assassin was excellent, brought back many memories of games I’d been to and forgotten about

  6. From the Eurosport website.

     

     

    It means there must be a huge question mark placed over the legality of any trophies they won while the EBT system was in place. Scottish titles, Scottish Cups and Scottish League Cups were all won as well as qualification for the Champions League and UEFA Cup while avoiding paying tax to their players, a ruling that has now been deemed illegal under British law. It will be up to the Scottish Football Association what to do next, but this ruling opens up a can of worms, and raises more questions than answers about the punishment that should be doled out to the new Rangers, who continue to claim ownership of trophies that they should probably no longer have any right to due to tax evasion.

  7. coolmore mafia on

    Are celtic going to pursue this? Are the other clubs gong to pursue this?

     

     

    We don’t spend our money to be watching a fixed game.

     

     

    celtic MUST ask for titles to be stripped from the huns.

  8. WESTCRAIGS on 5TH NOVEMBER 2015 9:41 AM

     

    rangers cheated and whether or not they gained an advantage is not a consideration. it is a red herring.

     

     

     

     

    when you cheat in sports you get disqualified.

     

     

     

     

    no individual or team have ever been asked if they gained an advantage.

     

     

    That’s a great point mate,a kangaroo court with a predictable verdict,something for the hun hordes ,and the Laptop Loyal to cling on to.HH

  9. COOLMORE MAFIA on 5TH NOVEMBER 2015 9:46 AM

     

    ‘Are celtic going to pursue this?’

     

     

     

    ####

     

     

     

    Fergus might have done. The current owner won’t.

  10. The facts are that the former club broke the law by running an illegal tax scheme and benefited massively from it. After all if there was no benefit the why do it? They knew there was a large risk. You don’t take a large risk unless there is a large reward on offer.

     

     

    So the former club won titles and trophies by cheating. They played players who were paid off the books and illegally, with those payments not reported to the footballing authorities. The penalties are clear – 3-0 defeats in every game in which an incorrectly registered player was involved. There are plenty of precedents in Scotland and beyond.

     

     

    The footballing authorities now have to decide what to do next. But the question isn’t whether they will relook at LNS or invent some new procedure.

     

     

    The question, as it quite often seems to be, is why the standard rules of football can’t be applied equitably to every club. Even those with the word Rangers in their name.

  11. Morning Timland from an overcast hun free mountain valley.

     

    See when them cheating scum won their 9iar, or since the day minty took over, does the stealing money from the bank~shareholders not constitute cheating ?

     

    A win tonight would fair top off a guid few days :-)

  12. Food for thought ………………

     

     

    Deidco starting line up on Black Sunday and EBT’s received.

     

     

    Ronald Waterreus – 510,000

     

    Sotiris Kyrgiakos – 532,200

     

    Marvin Andrews – 316,025

     

    Fernando Ricksen – 684,225

     

    Michael Ball – 1,400,000

     

    Thomas Buffel – 1,200,000

     

    Alex Rae – 569,000

     

    Barry Ferguson – 2,500,000

     

    Dado Prso – 1,900,000

     

    Shota Arveladze – Apparently no EBT but his lawyer claims the actual transfer fee to Deidco was 8.5 million rather than the 2.0 million fee reported

     

    Nacho Novo -1,200,000

  13. For me Sevco very much take a back seat today. Much as I’m delighted at yesterdays news, today is all about Celtic. I’m off painting a room for my daughter, ’twill at least pass a good bit of the time until kick off. I know it’s probably a pain in the ass to those going to game but the early kick off means there are 2 hours less to wait. So bring it on, I think we will win tonight but we need to box clever. I hope we don’t start with a Cavalry charge. Play ourselves into the game and keep it tight at the back, a goal at any time can win it for us, it doesn’t have to be in first 10 minutes.

  14. The (Celtic) Trust is a malignancy that has tenuously attached itself to Celtic Football Club.

     

     

    It must be called-out and ‘cut out’ by the efforts of our overwhelming support – if not it will continue mischief -making in furthering it’s own warped political agenda, to the detriment of the club and to the delight of the SMSM and the rest of our enemies.

     

     

    …..and who have them the permission to use the name “Celtic”, in their title?

  15. I’d just like to add to the appreciation being expressed for those internet bampots who have kept focus on the huns situation over the past few years. Thems hope that everyone gets bored of this, the news agenda changes and we all move on and fotget. It is important that focus (no pun intended) is maintined. We’ve seen some consequences, we now need to see some punishment.

  16. corkcelt-Game Management is what RD needs to learn.When to tell the full backs not to overlap,when to put on the right substitute-an extra defender if necessary.I think he gets drawn in to playing ‘the Celtic way’,when we need to take a step back ,and hold on to what we have.A classic example was going 3-1 up v Malmo at CP with about 15 mins to go,take Izzy off and put Mulgrew on ,retreat 10 yards,keep the game in front of you and don’t let anyone in behind you.I think he was naive,and got caught up in the atmosphere a bit.He needs to learn this in Europe,and learn fast.HH

  17. Slabhoy - Duntocher is Green and White on

    Sent this to Celtic today…

     

     

    Now that “common sense” has overlapped with the law in the BTC I hope that Celtic FC will take appropriate action to ensure that the SPFL and SFA bodies are moved to make the necessary adjustments to their competitions’ historical records.

     

     

    If Celtic FC join or lead efforts to have the LNS “OPINION” reversed, I will renew my ticket. If not, I will conclude that the current custodians are complicit with the cheating regime which allowed these crimes unpunished and I will not renew my season ticket. I will retain this position until either the titles are stripped or a new set of custodians arrive at Celtic FC

     

     

    I dearly hope ti be renewing my season ticket next year.

  18. We really must hope that big Jozo passes his fitness test, the thought of Ambrose in that central defence up against a couple of pacey forwards fills me with dread… Janko (if fit) at right back and put Lustig in the centre.

  19. I thought that Efe did a grand job the night we beat Barca, up against some of the best players the world has ever seen.

     

    Efe makes less mistakes than most, but the msm have set the agenda, Efe is a donkey~bombscare and Tims are lapping it up.

  20. Every day, on my way to work, I drive past a restaurant called the ‘Karma Restaurant’.

     

    I think they should rename it to Ibrox and be done with it.

  21. TET,

     

     

    I agree, Efe is better than most would concede and many have fallen for the same MSM BS that others before endured. For me Big Giorgios was a classic – Touted as a dud, but for me an absolute cracker of a player that we could never afford in real terms.

     

    If Efe plays tonight I just hope he keeps it simple and my only real criticism is that he does not attack the ball in the air as he should.

  22. Received an email back from John Paul Taylor. He says he’s not permitted to comment but will pass my comments on.

  23. West End of East End on

    I’m more concerned with Boyata that I am with Efe. If Boyata has no time to think then he plays well, it’s when he’s coming out of defence with the ball that worries me. His passing from the back is woeful and he’s usually the last man. I also hope Jozo passes his fitness test. Butterflies starting to kick in…it’s been a good couple of days, let’s hope it continues….

  24. TheOriginalSadiesBhoy on

    Just on and don’t know if this has been spoken about previously. Apologies if it has. Further to my post yesterday about STV reporting that the SFA had held an investigation into the non-payment by Sevco of the LNS fine of £250k plus costs. This is what one of the comments from the JohnJamessite has to say on the matter. He is referring to their annual accounts published yesterday.

     

     

    “Gordo RFC (@gordorfc1) says:

     

    November 4, 2015 at 1:51 pm

     

    That was buried in Page 60 of our Results announced today:

     

     

    EBT Fine

     

    In 2012, the SPL raised proceedings against The Rangers Football Club plc (Oldco) in relation to the use of EBTs and

     

    following a hearing in February 2013 a fine of £250,000 and costs of £150,000 were levied against Oldco. As part

     

    the agreement to allow Rangers to participate in Scottish Football, there was a clause inserted where it was agreed

     

    that Rangers would become liable and responsible for the imposition of any sanctions by the SPL for any breach of

     

    SPL Rules and or articles by Oldco/Rangers FC (i.e. the £250,000 fine). The Club believes that the SPFL has, through

     

    documents and actions, waived all and any right it may have had to insist upon payment under the clause, thereby

     

    holding the Club harmless in relation to the sanctions. This is disputed by the SPFL.

     

    Within the current SPFL rules there is a provision (known as the offset rule) whereby if any amounts are due to

     

    the SPFL, the Board of the SPFL are entitled to withhold amounts due to the Club up to the value of the amount

     

    outstanding. The Board of the SPFL have determined that it shall use the offset rule to recover the £250,000 fine

     

    from the Club.

     

    As a result of this decision, the Club has invoked Article 99 of the SFA Articles seeking a determination by an Arbitral

     

    Tribunal appointed by the SFA that the sum is not due to the SPFL. The matter will proceed to full hearing on 29th

     

    and 30th October.

     

    Whilst the Board of Directors based on legal advice are confident that the case will be settled in its favour, should the

     

    Club lose the case, then the Club will be liable for the £250,000 fine plus interest and associated costs.

     

     

    Near the back are all the Liabilities…including….

     

     

    Injunction and Damages Claim

     

     

    The day before June’s EGM an Injunction was granted preventing RIFC plc disclosing publishing or communicating

     

    various matters relative to discussions, agreements or arrangements between members of the Group and Sports

     

    Direct International plc (SDI) and members of its group. The injunction was granted on an interim basis until final

     

    judgement on the application raised by SDI against RIFC plc for injunction and damages. The application is being

     

    defended by RIFC plc both in respect of the requirement for an injunction and the damages sought. The amount of

     

    damages sought has yet to be quantified.

     

    SDI have made an application claiming RIFC plc and Dave King are in breach of the injunction. RIFC plc are in the

     

    process of applying to have the terms of the injunction varied or set aside pending final judgement. A hearing has

     

    been scheduled for the High Court in London.

     

     

    GSTQ”

  25. Not the same ol rangers always cheatin. This has to be an opporchancity to finally nail the same club rubbish. If they claim to be, and we know that is in fact impossible , let them pay the tax bill. Time the strip , crest anything relaed to the criminal rangers football club is forced by law into history. Third rangers coming soon to a zombie cinema near you.

  26. If ever there was a nail on head post –

     

     

    WESTCRAIGS on 5TH NOVEMBER 2015 9:41 AM

     

    rangers cheated and whether or not they gained an advantage is not a consideration. it is a red herring. When you cheat in sports you get disqualified. No individual or team have ever been asked if they gained an advantage…….

     

     

    – See more at: http://www.celticquicknews.co.uk/nimmo-smith-commission-noted-unlawful-tax-affairs-beyond-their-remit/comment-page-5/#comments

     

     

    Perfect example of this – the Legia Warsaw incident. Can’t remember whether they brought on the incorrectly registered player for a few minutes or whether he remained on the bench. Folk tried to argue that, either way, the outcome of the match wasn’t affected. But this didn’t matter – did they or did they not beark a rule? Yes – therefore as a CONSEQUENCE, you lose 3 nil.

     

     

    Let the rewriting of the scores commence!

     

     

    Back to workin’ not lurkin’…..

  27. Willie Miller:

     

     

    “The truth is that Rangers cheated to win. They cheated every fan and every player of other clubs. They stole sport from you. #StripTheTitles

     

    They lied and lied and cheated.”

  28. NATKNOW on 5TH NOVEMBER 2015 10:03 AM

     

     

    The so called ‘internet bampots’ are the absolute heart and soul of demorcracy in the modern world.

  29. Ellbhoy@8:28

     

     

     “They are a New club with just 2 lower league titles to their name but with no massive tax liability.

     

     

     Surely “common sense” must tell them they can’t pick & choose?”

     

     

    ——————————–

     

     

    Sevco don’t have any league titles to their name, I’m pleased to say.

     

     

    What they won are divisional titles, as only the winners of the top division can claim to be the country’s league Champions.

     

     

    And that would be us, for the last 15 years!

  30. Molde have really been punching above their weight. Good for them. If we can turn possession into goals a win would be a great result. Celtic 3- molde 1. This year the treble is the big goal regardless of the mischief making of the rags and their puppets. Mon the hoops. Glasgow is green and white.

  31. West End of East End on 5th November 2015 10:27 am –

     

     

    Have to disagree with that. I think Boyata has been very good of late and is ever improving.

  32. 21NOV2006

     

    Yip, if he keeps it simple he will do fine, and I agree 100% about Sammy.

     

    I find it amazing that supporters who say the msm have an agenda, then they believe that agenda, mind boggling.

     

    HH

  33. Bada,

     

     

    I agree closing a game out could be improved on but your suggestion for the Malmo game would see us finish the game with 10 men.

     

     

    I’m not saying Rd is flawless but he’s had to endure some honking player errors in his European escapades.

     

     

     

    HH

  34. Brogan Rogan Trevino and Hogan supports Oscar Knox, MacKenzie Furniss and anyone else who fights Neuroblastoma on

    Good Morning.

     

     

    I said yesterday that we should ignore a lot of the rubbish and knee jerk commentary coming from the MSM following the release of the Court of Session verdict in the Big Tax Case.

     

     

    Already this morning, we have started to see how this case may or may not be taken further forward and how it may serve or threaten the interests of the business community who specialise and make a fortune from selling aggressive tax savings schemes to the multinational business community.

     

     

    In 2011, I wrote an article for CQN Magazine called Bums on Seats. It surrounded a meeting I had with a financial football fixer in London who had previously acted for the boards of Manchester United, Portsmouth and others.

     

     

    At that meeting, he told me that during his ultimately unsuccessful attempts to negotiate tax bills away for Portsmouth FC, he was told by representatives of HMRC that they would not take any kind of discounted payment and that they were going to pursue a major football club to the death with a no holds barred, no compromise nor give any quarter approach.

     

     

    That football club was Rangers FC.

     

     

    The argument then was that they had Rangers bang to rights because the admnistration of the tax scheme cocerned was woeful. If anything, amateurish.

     

     

    HMRC really wnated to chase those who were bigger and better at the EBT game – especially those within football. Arsenal, Chelsea and others were major targets and Rangers was to be the weak link that would send out the message that the EBT footballing days were over.

     

     

    In the inetreim period, anyone who has read “The Secret Footballer” will know that there are numerous ex premier players who have been declared bankrupt as a result of the tax man coming to call years after they stopped playing.

     

     

    Many others, however, are still living high on the hog as a result of earning many thousands of pounds per week duing their careers.

     

     

    A surprising number of ex footballers are now technically living in such tax free havens as Dubai and elsewhere because that was where their trusts or funds were registered.

     

     

    One of the big debates among the “tax” fraternity this morning will be whether or not this case should be appealed. I have already heard one expert tax barrister saying that it must be appealed and that the grounds of appeal are “obvious”.

     

     

    This does not surprise me and it has nothing to do with Rangers. It has everything to do with preserving the very lucrative tax avoidance industry.

     

     

    When you sign up to one of these schemes you pay a very heavy fee and it normally includes the legal fees up to the stage we have just reached. However once you go to the House of Lords or The Supreme Court as it now is, the client has to shell out for the heavy London fees and these will be VERY expensive.

     

     

    You are also told that in any such scheme, there is every chance that HMRC will come gunning at some point to close a loophole and that they will not spare any effort and run the case to the very end. You are warned at the outset that no matter how good the advice, how expert the advisers, and how tight the scheme might be, there is still the chance that HMRC and the Government will challenge it or even close it by way of legislation and at that point you have to pay!

     

     

    In other words you are taking a huge risk.

     

     

    To that extent, you are wared again that you MUST adminsiter the scheme perfectly and to the letter. If you don’t you will put the whole scheme in jeopardy and that guarantees, such as they are, from the tax advisers such as Baxendale Walker etc will be void because you, the client, ballsed it up.

     

     

    In that case you are on your own.

     

     

    Yesterday’s judgement will exercise the tax guys and the knee jerk reaction will be that this must be appealed otherwise it will be used as a stick to beat many others over the head — and that is the message that HMRC was very quick to get out and into the press.

     

     

    However, I don’t necessarily buy that.

     

     

    For a start, who is going to appeal? All the companies involved have gone bust and the liquidators concerned will not pay for a supreme court fight.

     

     

    The directors of the companies who administered the fiasco – well they might have good reason to want to appeal but will they stump up the cash or will they settle? My guess is that Sir Minty will pay his personal tax quietly and move on. He has had ample time to salt away a tax reserve.

     

     

    I will leave how HMRC might go about collecting the tax for another post.

     

     

    However, you can put the kettle on for the tax avoidance community throwing this case under the bus.

     

     

    They may well initially say this needs appealed and then will backtrack.

     

     

    Why?

     

     

    Well because a decision from the Inner House of the Court of Session is persuasive but it is not absolutely binding. It is appealable and is not the Big Bertha that HMRC were looking for …. yet!!

     

     

    If it goes to the Supreme Court and yestreday’s judgement is ratified, then HMRC are really on a role.

     

     

    But if it doesn’t it leaves the tax specialists wriggle room for their other cases.

     

     

    These guys don’t give a shit about piddly wee companies such as Rangers – they are more concerned with companies that have salted away far more with schemes like these and it is those companies and clients that they will seek to protect.

     

     

    On that basis, they will take the view that a judgement from the Court of Session is a pain in the arse but it is not a huge gun. They will not want this to go to the Supreme Court as once there it is a winner take all scenario and tax lawyers don’t like those.

     

     

    HMRC will be keen to go to the Supreme Court as they have literally nothing to lose as these guys are escaping the tax as it is and so a ruling can only benefit HMRC. But an appeal is not in their hands.

     

     

    Further, the tax guys — if they were choosing to go to the Supreme Court — will want to go with the best and tightest case possible. One where all the admin was perfect and where the directors locked and bolted every door to protect the scheme.

     

     

    Heidi Poon and the judgement yesterday makes it plain that this is no such case. Sir Minty and his directors obfuscated, lied, deceived and crapped their way around this scheme. There should have been no side letters, side agreements or recorded contracts that implicate and scupper any tax scheme. In other words Mity and crew cocked it up by being amateurs.

     

     

    In short, the tax guys would be prepared to throw Minty and MIH etc under the bus rather than have this go to the next stage.

     

     

    They will also counsel their own clients on “risk management” on outstanding schemes. They may suggest some quick early compromise deals with HMRC and armed with the decision from Edinburgh, HMRC may well cut some folk some slack as they are under pressure to get at least some tax in.

     

     

    I was always told, pick your fights most carefully and that sometimes the last thing that lawyers want is a decision. Grey areas are there for a reason.

     

     

    We are at the stage with the taxman where Rangers and MIH don’t matter any more as there are other fish to fry.

     

     

    Lastly, if there is no appeal, then don’t believe for a minute that the ex players and managers are safe.

     

     

    I believe that once the liquidators of Rangers PLC confirm that they cannot or will not pay the outstanding tax in full, then the ultimate beneficiaries will be getting the knock.

     

     

    Many of them had their agents draw up letters of indemnity whereby Rangers PLC and MIH indemnified them against the tax ever becoming payable.

     

     

    Unfortunately, MIH is no more, Murray has bolted, Rangers PLC is bust and of course the venture being carried on out of Ibrox is a separate and distinct legal entity.

     

     

    In other words the indemnities are worth nothing.

     

     

    Time to raid the piggy bank — if you have one?