Regan and SFA deserve credit


Since Stewart Regan’s letter to the 93 SFA member clubs was uncovered by STV yesterday evening I’ve read what feels to me like unfounded concern at the news.  Regan asked clubs to declare “any written agreement(s) falling within the scope of Article 12.3 which has/have not previously been lodged with the Scottish FA in the previous ten years, in respect of any current or former players of your club.”

The most pleasing point is that the letter was dated 9 March.   A look at the chronology of events is perhaps useful.

Rangers troubles with HMRC have been public knowledge since 2010 but it was only on 22 February this year that questions were first raised (here, of course) as to whether the club registered the Employee Benefit Trust (EBT) payments with the SFA.  Everyone knew Rangers players had EBTs, we knew HMRC were contesting that these should be taxed, but there was no reason to believe Rangers did not to declare them to the SFA (unless you count the “sniff test” on Sir David…).

The EBTs were noted in Rangers audited accounts so it appears clear that Rangers at least notionally believed they were both legal (which they were) and legally executed (which we will soon find out).  When we took a shot in the dark on 22 February and posed the registration question, there was no reason to assume the SFA board had even considered the issue.  I’m sure they hadn’t and like the rest of us, were caught cold by the question.

Earlier that day the SFA announced an inquiry into Rangers headed by Lord Nimmo Smith.  His report was considered by the board on 8 March, when they presumably decided to send letters out to the member clubs the next day.  In short, this issue has been active at the SFA every day since it was first raised.

Had we known this at the time I suspect our view of the (apparent) SFA inactivity would have been different.  Maybe a PR lesson there.

Several friends and one brother have suggested that Stewart Regan’s letter is a prelude to an amnesty.  I doubt this.  The SFA chief exec does not have the authority to offer an amnesty and in his letter Regan says, “the Scottish FA reserves the right to refer any Club to the Compliance Officer, which might result in proceedings before the Judicial Panel”.

The letter is an attempt to establish if the problem is prevalent in one, or more than one club, a perfectly reasonable step at this stage. I’m guessing around 90 clubs will be able to respond within minutes.

As a result of this letter, the phoney war is over.  Comments like “there were no double contracts” can no longer be reported as though they have some validity to questions over unregistered payments to players.  Even those reporting from the back of the class will now have to recognise the validity of the questions we have been asking for weeks.

More on the nature of these questions later, specifically, is it cheating?

Issue 7 of CQN Magazine is out now! Go to the dedicated magazine site here to read it properly (which you’ll not be able to do below).

Sales of hard copies of the magazine are up on the corresponding figure last month – when we sold out.  Order your copy for delivery by clicking on the link below for news and views from Celtic supporters.

Pay by card or Paypal.

Ship to:

You can support the online edition by making a discretionary donation here.

Click Here for Comments >

About Author

  1. Pages:
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. 5
  7. 6
  8. 7
  9. ...
  10. 23

  1. Bobby Evans Superstar on

    Well behind the rest – just like Rangers* league position at end of the season

  2. Paul67 – You are correct. I cannot see how the SFA have the power for an amnesty. These are not SFA rules we are talking about. They are UEFA / FIFA rules. The breaches of the rules go WAY beyond our footballing borders. Even if they wanted to the SFA could not have an amnesty.



    Cheating : the breaking of rules to gain advantage in a competitive situation

  3. Bobby Evans Superstar on

    Correction – 4th is better than where Rangers* will be at the end of the season

  4. Big old ‘yeild’ to us all Paul67?



    Still very concerned about the integrity of any investigations into the matter.



    We will see




  5. Silver City Neil Lennon on

    It is a bit galling that after diddling the tax payer out of £100m that we can only see Rangers punished on a technicality that could see us hit as well. I think we might have Hibs to congratulate for winning the League the season Jununo was with us IIRC. The SFA’s attitute is, let’s say, fluid at the moment. The fact that they were prepared to stand by and let the FTT establish whether EBT payments were outside its own rules counts in our favour. The “Come on. Own up.” statement might change that. We can only hope our “i”s were dotted and “t”s were crossed.

  6. ‘Comments like “there were no double contracts”’




    Technically that’s correct.



    There’s only one contract.



    The contract is made up of the document registered with the SFA as ammended by the back letter aka the letter of intent aka the letter of comfort.



    Neither document on its own is the contract.

  7. I agree with Paul, I think the SFA do deserve some credit here. They started looking at this issue. The SPL then took it over as the SFA is the point of appeal, so clearly in between those 2 events there was legal advice sought and clearly it is being treated seriously.



    One thing we can say for sure is the circumstantial evidence is building now that Rangers are in very serious bother here. If there was no case to answer the events transpiring just now would not be happening.



    They are making a mistake over Ogilvie but they seem to have done the right thing at the start of this.



    The proof will be in the pudding. I expect we will get an update from the SPL soon with a preliminary statement.

  8. johann murdoch on

    Posted this just before the new article but it might just clear things up….hopefully






    Re juninho..I believe Brian Quinn at the time pointed out the error of the EBT and all tax due to be paid was paid ..would this not negate the whole EBT issue?..ie make it an non issue as the tax avoided was in fact repaid correctly..whereas the south siders have not paid the correct tax due on what HMRC regards as taxable salary,hence the tax bill,I believe the tax case is Rangers appeal against the bill and penalties.






  9. Bobby Evans Superstar ,



    technically you got a podium. Multiple postings count as 1 according to the unwritten rulebook of podium lurking .



    With regard to my posts on the previous thread , i don’t know



    – how many games Juninho played while in receipt of an EBT


    – if we informed SFA/SPL and therefore are in the clear anyway




  10. Dickie Davies Eyes on

    Well, a former Rankers director said on C4 last night that he thinks it is cheating.

  11. Silver City Neil Lennon



    According to Wikipedia Juninho only played 14 games for us. Think we missed the drop! ;)

  12. Moonbeams WD. Kano 1000 \o/ Supporting Neil Lennon 100%. Eating Jelly & Ice Cream. Awe Naw… on 21 March, 2012 at 11:30 said:





    ”90 clubs. Who are the 3?”



    Whichever club gave Jim Duffy a turkey for Xmas must be in the frame.

  13. Paul McBride is a huge loss to not only his family and friends ,but to the Celtic cause.



    He would have put them to the sword.



    I hope we are trying to replace him



    If that is possible.



  14. johann murdoch



    Tax wise I don’t think there is any issue as the facts are as you outlined.



    What the SFA want to know is if all contracts and details of players wages were submitted to them. If details of the EBT were not sent to them, then there could be an issue regardless of whether tax was paid or not.



    I would imagine those in charge would have submitted everything to the SFA.




  15. johann murdoch – the actual tax is not an issue. The registration of players is the issue. The tax is for HMRC. The issue is whether or not the details of the EBT payments were told to the SFA. If the side letter for Juninho was sent to them we are fine, if not we will rightly suffer the same fate for not following the rules.



    I for one welcome it.



    It should be the same rules for all. The veil should be lifted completely.

  16. Bobby Evans Superstar on

    johann murdoch on 21 March, 2012 at 11:29


    That’s my understand too i.e. we have a clean slate with HMRC. Not sure how that stands with SPL & SFA if we did not declare that to them at the time.

  17. Those shouting for Celtic to take action ,must be patient.



    They must wait and see what is exposed and then decide what action if any should be taken.



    As Paul say’s never interrupt your enemy when they are making a mistake.




  18. Cream. Awe Naw… on 21 March, 2012 at 11:30 said:




    “90 clubs. Who are the 3?









    Morton, it has to be.


    I posted earlier about Jim Duffy’s turkey at Christmas. He owned up to this on Clyde a few days ago.

  19. I’d be querying the Trevor Steven transfer to Marseille then bought back 6 months later.



    Gascoigne from Lazio. I mean if that was the case, he payed a significant role in them getting 8 in a row.

  20. James Cook ‏ @BBCJamesCook










    · Close Open Details The BBC has been told that the judgment in the so-called “big tax case” involving #Rangers is not likely to come before Easter. #RFC

  21. Cream. Awe Naw… on 21 March, 2012 at 11:30 said:




    “90 clubs. Who are the 3?






    Dundee (Bonetti brothers in charge and Di Stefano) ?

  22. Bobby Evans Superstar on




    What turkey did Jim Duffy get from Morton? My guess it was the goalkeeper.

  23. Paul67 – this letter sent out, coupled with Regan last night saying the Fit and Proper person test is merely the club signing a declaration, does it show the SFA have in essence delegated the governing of the game to the member clubs?



    Is the UEFA licence awarded on the basis that a club signs a piece of paper saying “Yes, we are eligible”?



    “Sign this to say you are following the rules as we can’t / aren’t able to check”



    Question this raises is….what the hell is the point in them and their rules then? The malaise being highlighted here is the real blight on our game. There will be cheats in all walks of life but they will only prosper if the watchmen are sleeping.

  24. Paul67



    Brian Quinn stopped us paying Juninho ( i think) by EBT and Celtic paid the tax due.



    Did Celtic inform the SFA of all contractual and non contractual payments with regards to any players who were compensated by an EBT?




  25. The timeline for the all the events is the most important piece now.


    As any paperwork now given to the spl and sfa will show what was done when and by who.




    After all this chasing the sfa and spl to act,results in limited action on the rule breakers.


    Will Celtic fc still sit and wait on more and more info coming out ?


    I just think all parties are waiting on the FTT case to land before the real story goes global?




  26. WGS



    Di Stefano was never in charge of Dundee.


    He made a bid to buy them that was rejected.


    Compare the media coverage of his failed bid ,compared to the coverage of yesterdays channel 4 programme.



    The great cover up continues.




  27. from RTC re. Juninho



    More nonsense on Juninho which needs to be nipped in the bud.


    He arrived in 2004 from his second spell at Middlesborough, complete with his own EBT set up by MIddlesborough during his first spell at the club. (They are waiting for the RFC tribunal decision with somewhat baited breath, ‘boro seemed to punch above their weight for quite a few seasons, hmm)


    His EBT was paid for 3 months, then Brian Quinn found out about it, and rectified it by settling up with HMRC in respect of the tax and national insurance. The matter was fully disclosed to the SFA at the time and from November 2004 Juninho was paid directly, with tax deducted. He left early in 2005 – perhaps the reason is now more obvious than it was at the time?

  28. jhilday on 21 March, 2012 at 11:44 said:




    I was listening to the news last night and one of the maniacs who allegedly sent bombs to Neil Lennon was quoted as saying he used to support Celtic. He said that this was because of his Catholic father.



    He went on to claim that he was a member of the Orange Order.


    I was under the impression that membership of that august body was reserved for that happy breed both of whose parents were Protestant.



    Or have they changed the rules?



    Can we all join now?



    So vital a series of questions it merited a re-post!

  1. Pages:
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. 5
  7. 6
  8. 7
  9. ...
  10. 23