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. Rieperman says:



    16 January, 2012 at 18:31



    Aye they did, because they have self interest at play and their views have to be discounted on that basis.



    The charge Hugh made that some folk only want Rangers to disappear whilst ignoring that some folk only want them to carry on regardless, is the hypocrisy of our media at its best.



    But you did get an admission that a penalty/penalities would need to be part of the consequences AND affirmation that side letters exist.



    Some result from one call



    You’ll be the talk of the internet steamie for the next 24hrs. :)

  2. James Forrest is Lennon on




    The media haven’t covered the half of it mate. The Battered Bunnet and I had a good back and forth recently over the timeframe here, and it’s a huge problem for them too.



    If the decision is in March, they have only a couple of months to organise Whyte’s pay-off, the appointment of an administrator, legal hurdles involved reaching a CVA, courtroom battles over the remaining assets and then the setting up a NewCo …. no way they do it all in the time the SFA would need to be sure the deal was done for the start of a new season.



    The exact timeframe isn’t known, not for sure, but the SPL/SFA would need to have everything prepared for the start of said season. Which means they’d need to put non SLF clubs on notice that there might be a vacancy, they’d need to tell every other club, TV companies, sponsors etc, that there was a chance the league might not have 12 teams in it … the mess this will cause is almost beyond comprehension.



    There is a real chance Rangers FC – in any version – will not exist when the new season kicks off. This is not conjecture, or speculation. The preparations for emerging as a NewCo would have to be well underway, and this is impossible without HMRC signing off on any agreement. They might not be able to dictate the pace of the first phase – Whyte as owner of the “floating charge” runs the table there – but once he has been satisfied and paid off, the rest of the process is awesomely complicated and HMRC has a virtual veto on all of it as they own 75% of the debt.



    So much of this process is misunderstood or misrepresented by the press. It could well result in the utter collapse of the SPL as an entity. The media is either ignorant of the facts or thinks not reporting them will somehow nulify the consequences of them … a little like Rangers attitude towards the tax bill.



    Last thing; someone said yesterday that this will all be resolved by some Masonic handshakes and SFA assistance. Let me tell you, in order for someone to “resolve” this on Rangers behalf, that someone is going to have write a very large cheque. Taking care of the tax bill only clears up one part of the trouble they are facing. Their club still faces years of financial problems as a result of this matter.



    See, Rangers fans have had 30 years of this. Someone said earlier, they’ve been cheating for a generation, and that is 100% correct. Since Lawrence Marlborough took over the club, in fact, in 1985. This guy had the kind of wealth Whyte can only dream about, and he set about spending it. He was the chairman when they bought Butcher and Woods and those guys, not Murray – something often misunderstood.



    Rangers entire recent history – for nearly 30 years – has been built on financial doping. And however the tax case turns out, lads, the party is OVER.



    For the first time in my living memory, and that of many of us, they will have to live within their means, spending only what they earn. And when you consider the scale of the rebuilding job they face, with no first team squad, God knows who owning assets, every penny they have is going to have to be spent on infrasctructure before they sign a single player.



    What lies in front of them is not a moonbeam but what Springsteen called the Darkness on the Edge of Town.

  3. fergus slayed the blues on

    Regards D King saying that there are indeed side letters does this now open a whole new can of worms .


    How many times and for how long did Minty and the old board state that they would win the case ,all the while knowing that there were side letters ,that would make it impossible to do so .


    hail hail

  4. The Legend Johnny Doyle on

    Kayal33 says:


    16 January, 2012 at 18:37



    He can’t take them through Administration, he will take them to Administration when an Administrator will be appointed, then their saviour and true white knight will show his hand and save the club for a fraction of the tax bill.




  5. Reiperman



    It was a rare occassion tonight that I decided to take the advice of a lot of the Bhoys on here and tune into Radio Snyde (shut it Seanbhoy and Terry O :-) rather than listen to to Rock FM or whatever it’s called noo.



    Brilliantly articulated call buddy. You’ve even got a Hun agreeing with you although he wants to be in the blue Square league.



    I might just change my opinion on this listening and phoning Clyde after hearing your call.



    MWD :-))))))

  6. time for change on

    Reiperman well done to you and your call tonight! Hear their answer is to leave Scotland and Rangers will join the English league……short memories one word Manchester.


    Hail Hail

  7. !!Bada Bing!! Kano 1000 on

    Keevins mentioned the “keyboard militia”? I have read better written articles on CQN than in his comic.Lazy hacks spend most of their day on sites like this to fill their “copy”-well named that.Did wee Dawwell not get outed recently as posting on Swallow Swallow? Hope a caller asks him that .

  8. James Forrest is Lennon says:


    16 January, 2012 at 18:43



    Better and better!!!



    I wonder if any of the bhoys who phone Keevins would be willing to call and then read your post verbatim. They’d probably get cut off before the 1st paragraph was read out. Worth a try though.




  9. James Forrest is Lennon on




    In order for the EBT to be “legal” it had to be disguised as a loan. The system was that the club would put cash in a “pot”, a trust fund style thing, and the players would be paid in “loans” instead of as salaries. In order for it to be disguised properly, some of the money would need to be paid back from time to time, in miniscule amounts, and there would be nothing, anywhere, making the payments mandatory.



    But players and their agents are not daft. The suggestion is that some of the players, and their agents, demanded contractural proof that they were to be paid the sums agreed, and that those contracts were actually given to them by Rangers … proving the payments were “salary” and not loans.



    There are issues relating to these contracts, by the way, and SFA disclosure. It appears clear that, in order to facilitate these agreements, Rangers had to keep two sets of contracts – and would have had to disclose that to the SFA. Did they? When this case resolves, we’ll find out.

  10. Rieperman,



    I’m glad I didn’t hear your call to Snyde. Apparently is was hate-filled bile! Tut Tut ;-)




  11. Mick



    The side letters were issued to the players saying that they would be paid in part by an outside agency, and they would not be liable for tax on these so called loans.



    These letters have massive implications, ie euro licence issues.

  12. fergus slayed the blues on

    Listen to that clown keevins .


    PL wants ragers to stay in the SPL and it would be the same if it was Celtic ragers would want them to survive .


    Do they forget Minty and his ego trip


    hail hail

  13. Keevins is a media whore, prostituting his opinion to keep a job,,,,,, the man is a sycophant,

  14. fergus slayed the blues on

    THE EXILED TIM says:


    16 January, 2012 at 18:56


    And do they break the SFA/SPL rule of third party payments .


    hail hail

  15. THE EXILED TIM says:


    16 January, 2012 at 18:53



    The tabloid hack who accused Mark hates articulate intelligent callers like Hark, its a threat to his livelihood in the ole media, as well as being a personal embarrassment

  16. James Forrest



    Thanks for the response, It’s a lot clearer now…they’ve been caught and ARE cheats!


    How the SPL or SFA would conceive them getting away with this blatant cheating is beyond me.


    They’ve ruined Scottish Football and may well set it back years.

  17. Not the BBC



    Saints target Gary Hooper has insisted he doesn’t want to leave Celtic.



    Nigel Adkins has reportedly made two offers for the striker he signed and sold at Scunthorpe.



    Both were rejected by Celtic, who placed a £35m price tag on his head with rumours circulating that Saints were set to come back with an offer of around £6m.



    Celtic boss Neil Lennon has said he doesn’t want to lose Hooper and Saints’ chances of landing the prolific striker appear to have shrunk still further after the man himself reiterated his desire to stay north of the border.



    He said: “I’m very happy. I’m back playing now and scored at the weekend. It was good to be back in the team.



    “I don’t want to go anywhere. I’m a Celtic player and very happy here, winning games for Celtic and we’re two points clear at the top of the league just now. I’m just focusing on football – training, playing and scoring goals – that’s my job.”

  18. The Singing Detective on

    James Mortimer…didn’t he pen “Rumpole of the Bailey?”.



    Well I never ! All this time,and I wouldn’t have dreamed he was a Hun..




  19. Mick says:


    16 January, 2012 at 19:00



    Mick, they’ve already set Scottish football back several years. If they hadn’t spent the millions that they didn’t have then we, and the rest of the SPL (to a lesser extent) would not have had to buy foreign imports – we would have developed more of of youngsters and we would have had a much more competitive league. We would always be in a stronger position than the other clubs but not solely due to financial muscle.




  20. fergus slayed the blues



    They break the sfa/spl and uefa’s rules






    It’s callers like Rieperman that show them up for what they are, and that is they are finished, and the sooner the better.

  21. Reiperman 18.31


    Well done i dont listen to them but love to hear of someone slaying them & showing them up for what they are.


    Ps The Exiled Tim 18.30 when you put the hose in their mouth can i turn the tap on PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE MISTER kin a.



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