Season will be decided on the field, not in the courts


I received a text early evening on 18th August last year: “Gongalves starts”.  Former Hearts player, Jose Gongalves, was one of a handful of players FC Sion signed illegally in the summer 2011 transfer window and he had been named to start against Celtic in the Europa League qualifier, first leg.

As a contest, the tie was over.  There followed two matches with considerable effort and drama from both teams but the eventual outcome was, literally, never in doubt, the courts would have their way.  Sion would be expelled from the competition and Celtic would progress to the group stage.

Today Celtic’s only remaining competitor from the chasing pack for the SPL title is up in court to face the HM Revenue and Customs.  The courts will have their way again but although you may feel the outcome of Rangers tax case is inevitable (I do), the impact on this season’s league championship is less assured.  Should they lose, Rangers have the option to appeal, postponing any negative impact on the company until next season at the earliest.

If Rangers have, or can generate, enough cash to keep the lights on this season the league will be nip and tuck until the end of the season. The tax case will attract most attention but if you are looking for indications of how the season is likely to go, keep an eye open for cash related incidents.

Well done to Rangers’ broadcast partner, STV, for their story this morning on SPL discipline.  They report the Ibrox club have the worst disciplinary record in the league, having accumulated a total of 41 bookings, contrasting starkly with the cool class at Celtic Park who are best behaved in the league with only 20 bookings.

With Beram Kayal out for the season Ki Sung-Yeung is the Celtic player closest to a suspension, a further three yellow cards would put the Korean over the threshold.  Rangers have Lafferty one booking, Edu and Bocanegra two, with Goian, Broadfoot, Bartley and Whittaker all three away from a suspension.  Lee McCulloch has only been booked twice this season but shows enormous potential.

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  1. Boys I was reading the article in the sun about Rocco Quinn breaking in to his neighbours flat and before I go any further I said they surely can’t go through this whole article without mentioning that he played for Celtic and surprise surprise we get mentioned lol.

  2. It only takes one to break ranks and turn Queen’s Evidence and the whole will fall.



    Craven broke ranks and look where Dallas is gone. I hope UEFA don’t allow him too much influence lest they too have an embarrassing day in front of the wigs.

  3. kit



    The only way I can see anyone turning QE is if criminal procedings are instigated against any of the huns directors, which is a distinct possibility if HMRC are shafted.

  4. RRC: says:


    17 January, 2012 at 08:30


    Who had a hit with ‘In a broken Dream’?



    Python lee Jackson with Rod

  5. Tom McLaughlin on

    Why don’t Celtic buy Darlington FC and begin the process of moving to the English leagues?



    It’s nearly in Scotland anyway.



    Just a thought.




    I believe this is going to end in criminal courts.



    There is that word ‘court’ again fud. (not you Exiled Tim)

  7. Tom McLaughlin on

    Someone on Twitter claiming to be a ‘legal-eagle’ stating that HMRC will announce their RTC verdict within days of the completion of the tribunal.

  8. .






    My Mates Dad bought Southend FC..(Mid 80s)..For Rangers to Move to the Olde English Div 1 and as a Feeder Club for Rankers..it Didn’t work then and Wont work Now..(No Fans)..




  9. I see Gary O’Connor picked up another booking for simulation – apparently it was a contentious one, although I haven’t seen the footage.



    He now picks up a ban for going over the points threshold. Anyone want to guess which game he misses?

  10. Tom McLaughlin on

    Summa –



    Was your mate’s dad connected to Rangers, or was he just a supporter with an idea?

  11. Kitalba – the side letters is the petard they will be hung by. EBTs are normal in the banking industry or any other industry where large bonuses are paid and people want to reduce the tax on these. For the EBT to be “legal” the payments made from it cannot be of a contractual nature. By their definition bonuses in these industries aren’t “contractual” but people know they will get them so everyone is happy to leave the payments discretionary.



    As soon as payments via this vehicle are for contractual purposes the whole thing goes from avoidance to evasion. Footballers are among the most mercenary individuals out there. Football contracts are notorious for having every single penny accounted for in black and white. There are no discretionary bonuses, all bonuses are contractual. EBTs by their very nature are not appropriate for the contract of a professional football player.



    If HMRC have been able to produce letters from Rangers at the tribunal showing that they have given comfort to players regarding tax due and monies they will get, they are done. I think they are already done. It will be taking so long as every single contract has been looked at and the amount due for each being set.



    If these letters exist I personally would not be surprised to hear about people being interviewed by City of London police as if the side letters contain what they are rumoured to then they are sailing very close to criminal tax evasion on a large scale.

  12. From Wiki /EWLM/EWTB-



    1947–48 in Scottish football



    Scottish League Division A



    1 Hibernian 30 22 4 4 86 27 59 48



    2 Rangers 30 21 4 5 64 28 36 46



    3 Partick Thistle 30 16 4 10 61 42 19 36



    4 Dundee 30 15 3 12 67 51 16 33



    5 St. Mirren 30 13 5 12 54 58 −4 31



    6 Clyde 30 12 7 11 52 57 −5 31



    7 Falkirk 30 10 10 10 55 48 7 30



    8 Motherwell 30 13 3 14 45 47 −2 29



    9 Heart of Midlothian 30 10 8 12 37 42 −5 28



    10 Aberdeen 30 10 7 13 45 45 0 27



    11 Third Lanark 30 10 6 14 56 73 −17 26



    12 Celtic 30 10 5 15 41 56 −15 25



    13 Queen of the South 30 10 5 15 49 74 −25 25



    14 Morton 30 9 6 15 47 43 4 24



    15 Airdrieonians 30 7 7 16 40 78 −38 21



    16 Queen’s Park 30 9 2 19 45 75 −30 20



    – following on from yesterday’s discussion on the great Jock Weir.



    Remembering it was only 2 points for a win, Celtic being relegated on the last day of the season would still have been unlikely, even without Jock’s heroics.



    But doubtless Celtic Quick Telelgrams would have been in meltdown in the weeks building up to the game.

  13. Anyways, finished ‘The Sevenpenny Gate’, and on balance can only give it 6.5 out of 10.



    It starts off well, and is good on wartime football, but there are too many mistakes [no proof reader?], even for someone like me who enjoys spotting them.



    One to read say, on a long journey, but maybe not one to keep.


    GORDON J 0948



    I saw it on Sportscene,wash my mouth out,and it was a truly dreadful attempt at a dive.



    John McDonald and his followers would have got a penalty for it though….



    Maybe the worst example of a hun playing for a pen was at Hampden,Sally ran to receive a throw-in and stopped dead before it reached him.



    Big Roy who was following the runner,as the coaches say,ran into him.



    Penalty and a Valentine card from bob,the ref,who was probably advised beforehand what to look out for.

  15. Gordon, is it not the next game, ie this weekend? I thought this was all fast tracked rather than the 2 week wait?



    O’Connor did dive. The Dunfermline player stuck his leg out but O’Connor rolled over it like a 6 year old playing best man’s fall.



    Anyway, if that 2 week wait still applies and O’Connor misses the huns game then Ian Black must miss our trip to Tynecastle? Not a great player but gets away with (attempted) murder against us.

  16. Tom – These verdicts come in writing from the judge hearing the tribunal. They take several weeks so this cannot be true.

  17. RogueLeader:



    I can only hope they get what they deserve. I won’t celebrate appropriate punishment until it is served and I won’t celebrate equality until an unequviocal apology is forthcoming. Actually, no hun newco should ever be allowed back into any league until a full and sincere apology is offered to every club, from every sport, and every sports fan in Scotland and beyond. They have sullied the name of sport in Scotland for all of Scotland and all of those who just want a level playing field… for all.



    What chance has an honest betting man got of a return on his honest bet?

  18. McNair is the greatest on

    Forfeiture committee in Westminster will be glad to hear of any huns Knights of the Realm or huns legneds who were directors when the evasion was going on. R.C. Ogilvie was also a director & he will decide of any punishments to the huns and/or if newco gets a place in the Scottish leagues – it makes you sick.

  19. Rogue



    What if at the Tribunal Rangers hold their hands up and say guilty? That would be in Whytes best interests IMO as it gives him a week to sell, sell, sell and sell again anybody he can!

  20. Would you dare call another person a liar when you are a dyed in the wool liar yourself? At least Keevin’s, repugnant as he is, is not coward so much that he feels the need to change his moniker.

  21. glendalystonsils on




    I have this mental picture of wee Fleck back from Blackpool stepping out a taxi at Ipox with his training bag in his wee hand staring forlornly with open mouth at a big pile of red brick rubble……………………….nice!…

  22. Side Letters ——-



    If they exist —– they are the smoking gun.



    EBT’s are legal but they have to be implemented correctly.



    The way that Rangers implemented the relevant EBT’s appears to have been illegal . It appears to have been nothing more than a disguised remuneration scheme..



    The Side Letters may prove that the players were being paid ” now ” rather than ” later “.[illegal ]



    The Side Letters may prove that the relevant EBT’s were part of a contractual wage [illegal]



    The Side Letters may prove that ongoing wage payments were being paid by a 3rd party [ illegal]



    The Side Letters may throw light on the legally interesting issue re how players’ bonuses were being paid – through the EBT? [ illegal].



    We’ll see ——



    Note yet more publicity being given to that leech – Hugh Keevins . Been a long time since I heard the man’s dulcet tones —- but the very mention of the name always reminds me of this ——



    ” If you gave him an enema -you could bury him in a matchbox ”



    I can’t remember who the he was , and who said it —-but hey -it is very apt.



    Sunny , clear blue sky -feels cold -way down south

  23. There have been various timescales mooted for the Tax Tribunal’s decision – from a few days to a few months.



    Now I’m sure that the full written judgement won’t come out for a fair while as they will want to make it legally watertight. But is it possible that the actual result could be announced sooner? You’re guilty – full details to follow.

  24. What’s the bettin’ that boul’ blatt has the mighty ranjurs swooping for for crack culinary kid, Heston Blumenthal as replacement……….



    Now that would be one mouthful that would be too hard to swallow, swallow……