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

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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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1,029 Comments

  1. McNair is the greatest on

    bournesouprecipe says:

     

    17 January, 2012 at 10:27

     

    Who said…………………………”I only know the first 2 lines of the sash. After that we’ve usually scored”

     

     

    Our last great captain – “Big Roy”

  2. Kitalba,

     

     

    On the issue of fraud, I’m really not qualified to comment, but I’ll be surprised if the question isn’t raised if the letters are found to exist.

  3. Semi-final tickets now on general sale

     

    By: Newsroom Staff on 17 Jan, 2012 09:35

     

    TICKETS for the Scottish Communities League Cup semi-final against Falkirk are now on general sale. The game is at Hampden on Sunday, January 29 with a 3pm kick-off.

     

     

    Tickets are priced as follows:

     

    East Stand: £15 Adult/£5 (concessions – under 16 only)**

     

    South Stand – £20

     

     

    Tickets can be purchased ONLINE, by calling 0871 226 1888* or by visiting the Celtic Ticket Office.

     

     

    The Ticket Office will be open this Saturday, January 21 from 9am until 12noon for the sale of these tickets.

  4. DBBIA ——–

     

     

    Grazie !.

     

     

    Yes ———– same man also said this about “The Reverend” Jerry Falwell —–

     

     

    ” I think it’s a pity there isn’t a hell for him to go to ”

     

     

    Postwoman brought me a CDR of ——

     

     

    Mark Fry —–Dreaming With Alice———— A mega hard to find LP which many critics tout as being ” the acid folk LP ” . Gave it a listen —– sounds dated and twee to me. Made me think of Donovan at his worst.

  5. .

     

     

    Celtic FC – Official Facebook Page of Celtic Football Club

     

    THE legendary Muhammad Ali celebrates his 70th birthday today and, as the world pays tribute, we have a picture of ‘The Greatest of All Time’ alongside some of the greatest Celts. The line-up is as follows: Back Row (L/R): Ian Young & Billy McNeill. Middle Row (L/R): John Clark, Stevie Chalmers, John Divers, Jim Kennedy and John Hughes. Front Row (L/R): Brian Goodwin, Bobby Lennox, Ayrton Inacio, Ali, Marco di Sousa and Joe McBride. The picture must have been taken in late August/early September 1965 and features Ayrton and Marco, the two Brazilian trialists who played in a Reserve League cup tie at Celtic Park on August 31.

     

     

     

    Summa

  6. RogueLeader:

     

     

    I thought one of the missions in life for the City of London Police was to ensure a level playing field for all shareholders – of all companies – and if one PLC was to behave illegally to the detriment of another, then that becomes a criminal event and the lawyers dance a jig and the elders get their wigs dry-cleaned.

     

     

    Or so I am led to believe.

     

     

    I thought one of the missions in life for the City of London Police was to ensure a level playing field for all shareholders – of all companies – and if one PLC was to behave illegally to the detriment of another, then that becomes a criminal event and the lawyers dance a jig and the elders get their wigs dry-cleaned.

     

     

     

    Or so I am led to believe. What a shame that would be.

  7. Rieperman – at work and can’t hear your call from last night (no speakers) – can anyone give me a brief summary of what was said?

  8. midfield maestro –

     

     

    It’s not definite yet. Need to secure the time off work. Will know for sure this week.

     

     

    But all being well, I’ll certainly be in touch.

     

     

    South Pole? What is he going to do down there?

     

     

    What a guy right enough :)

     

     

    Give him my regards.

  9. bournesouprecipe says:

     

    17 January, 2012 at 10:27

     

    Who said…………………………”I only know the first 2 lines of the sash. After that we’ve usually scored

     

     

    Lemmon

  10. Riperman – you had them running. I was surprised they didn’t cut you off. I was shouting at the radio though when wee Dawwyl was questioning the “who loses out bit” and Keevins was saying “the other clubs will get no advantage with Rangers gone” for you to say about the extra European spot that would be available and these teams having a shot at CL qualifiers.

     

     

    Their ability to slither never ceases to amaze me.

     

     

    One thing I would say is though, don’t waste your intellect on those cretins, they are following a script they have to follow, you cannot persuade them. You don’t need to anyway they already know how it is….

  11. 001:

     

     

    Let me know the dates and if we fly the same airline we could well share the second part of the journey in song , wine and reflection.

  12. Kit – all of that is true but they cannot step on the toes of an ongoing process that will determine whether or not the scheme was operated unlawfully.

  13. RogueLeader:

     

     

    Correct, but like the Mounties always get their man, there is a wee rumour that the City of London Police aren’t too shaby either.

     

     

    Alister Johnston must be enjoying the distance from all these crudies. He warned them after all. Somebody is going to have to come out and save their own bacon.

     

     

    Who was that famous jocky that got sent to jail when everybody said… “Nah!!! he’s such a nice guy, what did he ever do”

  14. The Legend Johnny Doyle on

    McNair is the greatest says:

     

    17 January, 2012 at 10:24

     

     

    Turkeys don’t vote for Christmas, he will need to be pushed.

     

     

    JD

  15. When we started talking about this case in detail a year or so ago, I made the point that Rangers were trying to shoehorn their contractual wages structure into an arrangement that was developed for organisations that delivered a significant part of remuneration through discretionary bonuses.

     

    As indicated by Rogue Leader, the use of side letters was surely the only possible way of getting footballers to agree to the EBT route since it provides comfort to the employee that they’ll get their full whack one way or another.

     

     

    The use of side letters is a practice that has gone on for some time at the more aggressive end of tax planning; even at that end, it is a practice that is now held in disrepute. In any tax planning arrangement, if you are not comfortable with HMRC seeing all documentation and being aware of all aspects of the plan, then you are probably sailing close to the wind.

     

     

    It is worth noting that HMRC’s view is that the type of EBT that Rangers introduced did not work even without side letters. With the side letters, I imagine HMRC think that they are home and dry….and I do not disagree one bit.

     

     

    Somebody mentioned that the side letters guarantee that Rangers will pick up any tax arising on the “loans” if they are successfully re-characterised as employment income. That would be feasible if Rangers had agreed to sign those player on a “net” basis, which is common for European/foreign players. Rangers would be liable for that tax anyway since if the “loans” are really employment income, there has been a PAYE/NIC failure (which is down to Rangers). If the side letters offer some sort of tax protection, I’d like to see HMRC arguing that Rangers had agreed to pay players net in which case the PAYE tax itself becomes income and should be grossed up. Not even a hun-dredaire has pockets deep enough for that.

     

     

    Somebody also asked last night about the Dextra case. The Revenue’s victory in that case was centred on when (and the extent to which) the employer got a corporate tax deduction in respect of the amounts paid into the trust. They did not win on the question of the effectiveness of EBT’s in themselves.

     

     

    Incidentally, the HMRC inspector on that case was called Ronald McDonald. I don’t know who is dealing with the FTT case but I do know that I’m lovin’ it

  16. SofTunis -only Donovan I get to hear is the ole ‘Mountain Jam’ cover by Duane and his confreres [all 40+ minutes of it]…and only on very,very rare occasions.

     

     

    D.Leitch certainly got the most out of the small amount of talent he was given.

  17. Where does the WATP that the Darkside proudly boast,have it’s origins?

     

    Is it a song of theirs (one of the 3 or 4)?

  18. I may have misheard Dawyl last night but I thought what he said was that there were letters from the club to the players saying that if HMRC were able to prove that tax was payable the club would pay it.

     

     

    That’s not a smoking gun so far as the EBTs are concerned.

     

     

    If, on the other hand, players did have two contracts and the huns have misrepresented the true position either to HMRC or the SFA for the purpose of financial gain, then on the face of it, they’ve committed a fraud.

     

     

    And any accountants, solicitors, agents, tax advisers and any anyone else who was involved could well be in the frame.

     

     

     

    It’s just a pity that the FTT tribunal is sitting in private.

  19. RogueLeader,

     

    I realise now the futility of the exercise. Keevins silenced me a couple of times last night. By that I mean he switched the fader and left me talking to myself as he preached on. I only discovered this on listening again. When he said there would be no return to full houses because of the economic situation, I countered that the same situation wasn’t exactly rosy in the eighties either before DM started flashing his tenners but I wasn’t even on-air.

     

     

    I will be back one more time though to demand an apology on air. he accused me of being “fuelled by hatred” later in the show and mentioned my name in association with people sending racist twitter messages. We will either have this conversation on-air or in a courtroom. His call.

  20. My first seven questions for today. When these have all been answered and with forensic detail please. I will ask another 7 ;-)

     

     

    If the huns do indeed lose the tax case ……………

     

     

    Can any club who bought players from the huns based on the fact that these players won medals unfairly sue for being deliberately mislead ?

     

     

    Can any club who lost players to the huns due to them signing them by offering them a higher illegal wage with a better prospect of winning trophies illegally be able to sue them ?

     

     

    Can SPL clubs and European clubs especially those that contested in the UEFA cup in 2008 sue for loss of earnings over this ten year time period ? Hun behaviour here has in fact been detrimental to every other club in Europe UEFA coefficient.

     

     

    Can any customer/supporter who spent money on the presumption of fair competition sue hun F.C for buying his ticket in false circumstances ?

     

     

    Can any customer of a bookmaker who placed bets on good faith at any point in the last ten years claim back his stake or indeed debate that he would indeed have won if the competition had been fair, be able to sue hun FC ?

     

     

    Can any sponsor who invested money into football competitions that they believed to be fair and which hun FC won be able to sue hun FC for acquiring this prize money unfairly ?

     

     

    Hail Hail

  21. ernie – considering Darryl’s well known flexibility with facts regarding Rangers. Considering the whole scenario regarding footballers accepting a large chunk of their wages as being discretionary. Considering his stance of pkaying down the seriousness of the situation regularly.

     

     

    I would think it is more than likely that these side letters contained far more than just a note as to tax liability. That would not satisfy mercenary footballers and their agents……

  22. ernie lynch says:

     

    17 January, 2012 at 10:48

     

    “I may have misheard Dawyl last night but I thought what he said was that there were letters from the club to the players saying that if HMRC were able to prove that tax was payable the club would pay it.”

     

     

    Ernie, since it would have been a PAYE failure, Rangers carried the liability anyway. It may be that the letters said that Rangers would not look to the players to indemnify the club if Rangers had to cough up but I think it is far more likely that the side letter has been drawn up to provide comfort to the player that he will get what he would have been due if the EBT had not been put in place. That has always been the reason for such side letters.

  23. cadizzy says:

     

    17 January, 2012 at 10:46

     

     

    ‘Incidentally, the HMRC inspector on that case was called Ronald McDonald. I don’t know who is dealing with the FTT case but I do know that I’m lovin’ it’

     

     

     

    HMRC’s counsel in the house of lords was Timothy Brennan QC.

     

     

    No wonder they’re paranoid.

  24. Rieperman:

     

     

    I will happily pay one hundred pounds towards your legal fees. If the time comes… I will get my share to you.