SFA prepare to suspend Rangers


Scottish FA chief executive, Stewart Regan, this evening announced that the Association would not appeal against the Court of Session decision to rule in Rangers favour over the 12 month player registration ban imposed by a Judicial Panel for not paying social taxes between May 2011 and February 2012.  Rangers didn’t pay social taxes in the period since February 2012, the period during which they launched their appeal.

I hear Rangers today served the ruling on the SFA and that the SFA have responded by informing the club that, under Fifa auspices, fresh proceedings will be raised against them for taking a civil court action, which will lead to a minimum punishment of Rangers being suspended from the Association.

The initial case will be referred back to the SFA Appellate Tribunal.  Regan reminded us that Rangers appeal to the civil courts broke two SFA Articles and five Fifa statues.  The tone and content of his statement demonstrated the frustration at the behaviour of the errant club.  He suggested the SFA would tell clubs [Rangers] that they must accept and abide by the Articles of Association at next week’s AGM.

While it appears the Association is about to get tough, they are in the middle of a problem of the making of the SFA and, in particular, Mr Doncaster of the SPL.  Here is the problem…

Rangers believe they are needed.  This belief is absolute and has been reinforced by the people running our game, the very same people who have been rag-dolled by Rangers in recent weeks.

The SPL waited almost three months for Rangers to respond to their demand for information into what is allegedly the biggest scam in British sporting history.  Despite this, throughout that time, the SPL chief executive campaigned vigorously for a Newco-Rangers to become the first club in Scottish football history to be parachuted into the top league.

It took the SPL 11 weeks to set a deadline.  No wonder Clark, Whitehouse and Green think they can play hardball.

During this time the SFA, who are the only body competent to investigate if Rangers illegally registered players across all domestic competitions, have taken no action.  The SFA president, who was an executive director of Rangers when they introduced the controversial EBTs and who received and EBT himself, has remained in position throughout.

Time for strong leadership, Mr Regan.  Mr Doncaster, there’s always a career in the law.

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  1. 31 May 2012 Last updated at 14:10 Share this pageEmail Print Share this page



    80ShareFacebookTwitter.Rangers hand over documents in SPL contracts probe


    Rangers used Employee Benefit Trusts (EBTs) to pay dozens of players Continue reading the main story


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    SPL assurances on Rangers’ probe


    Q&A: EBT schemes explained


    EBT beneficiaries


    Lawyers investigating allegations that Rangers used dual contracts to pay players have received documents from the club, BBC Scotland has learned.



    The Scottish Premier League (SPL) appointed Glasgow law firm Harper McLeod to investigate the claims earlier this year.



    Documents were first requested from Rangers in March.



    If it is proven that the club used dual contracts against league rules, Rangers could be stripped of titles.



    Rangers used Employee Benefit Trusts (EBTs) to pay dozens of players during the last decade.



    Tax tribunal



    HMRC issued a bill to Rangers for unpaid tax on the schemes, believed to be in the region on £49m, including interest and penalties.



    Rangers contested this at a First Tier Tax Tribunal which concluded in January and is due to issue its determination imminently.



    It is believed the potential EBT liability facing the Ibrox club, which was placed in administration in February over other unpaid tax totalling £14m, could now be as high as £75m, including penalties and interest.



    The SPL investigation centres on whether the EBT payments to players were included on their contracts.



    Board meeting



    Scottish Football Association (SFA) rules state that all payments made to players in respect of their earnings from football must be declared on one contract. Clubs falling foul of those rules could face sanctions from the league.



    The SPL launched its investigation into Rangers’ use of the EBT scheme on 5 March.



    The probe covers the period stretching back to the SPL’s inception in 1998.



    In a statement, the SPL confirmed it had received documentation from Rangers in relation to the investigation into EBT payments.



    “The SPL’s legal team will now review and provide an update to the SPL board at the next SPL board meeting on 18 June,” it said.

  2. This cannot turn out well for Rangers.



    Ernie Lynch (from previous article) is correct. The SFA should not have contested the application to the Court of Session as, in doing so, they gave the appearance of accepting the courts involvement in a footballing matter. I suspect they did so expecting they would win, but that still doesn’t justify their appearance.



    In doing so, they also helped light the fire that Fifa cannot allow to take hold. Fifa’s monopoly on football ends as soon as local courts are allowed to exercise their higher authority.



    The SFA of course have no option but to acknowledge the finding of the Court of Session, as a higher authority, and refer the matter back to the appellate tribunal.



    I expect the appellate tribunal, if it again sits, will now be forced to suspend Rangers, the punishment both the original tribunal and the appellate tribunal sought to avoid.



    It cannot end there however. Fifa cannot allow a member club to be seen to have succeeded in making an application to a local court without punishment. They will therefore insist the SFA take further action against Rangers, to serve as a deterrent against other clubs contemplating such action in any other member association.



    Only by the administrators belatedly either accepting the initial finding of the appellate tribunal, or seeking recourse from CAS, will they be able to head this off. I would have thought the former is in the best interests of the creditors.

  3. 31 May 2012 Last updated at 17:55 Share this pageEmail Print Share this page



    201ShareFacebookTwitter.Rangers 10-point penalty ‘meaningless’ says Neil DoncasterNeil Doncaster, SPL chief executive, shares his view with BBC Newsnight Scotland


    Continue reading the main story


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    Gers hand over contract documents


    SPL assurances on Rangers’ probe


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    The 10-point penalty applied to Rangers for going into administration was “relatively meaningless”, the SPL chief executive has said.



    In a BBC interview, Neil Doncaster admitted the SPL had no powers to vet Rangers prospective new owner Charles Green and knew nothing of his backers.



    He also said Rangers administrators had not given the co-operation hoped for over the dual contract investigation.



    The interview will be shown on Newsnight Scotland on BBC2 at 23:00.



    During the BBC interview, Mr Doncaster denied that the SPL was conflicted between its roles of promoting the commercial interests of member clubs and safeguarding the sporting integrity of the competition it administered.



    Integrity ‘paramount’



    “It’s paramount that people believe in there being effective real competition and the integrity within the league,” he said.



    The SPL chief executive said that sporting integrity had not been compromised by Rangers’ administration.



    He added: “They’re (Rangers) having to deal with issues that arise for them. We’re then having to respond and react to issues that arise that affect Rangers. In responding to those issues, the integrity of the competition remains paramount.”



    Continue reading the main story



    Start Quote


    Any such prosecution which arises from the (EBT) investigation would be in front of a wholly independent panel…without any association to any SPL club”


    End Quote


    Neil Doncaster



    SPL chief executive


    Mr Doncaster agreed that the 10-point penalty applied to Rangers for going into administration following non-payment of taxes was “relatively meaningless”.



    He stressed, however, that it was the only penalty that could be applied under the current rules, a situation which clubs had begun to address with new sanctions being agreed at a meeting at Hampden on Wednesday.



    The new “hard-hitting” sanctions, Mr Doncaster said, would see the greater of 10 points, or a third of the previous season’s points tally, deducted from clubs going into administration from next season.



    On Tuesday, Rangers administrators Duff and Phelps issued an offer to creditors for a company voluntary arrangement (CVA).



    They hope will be accepted and allow the club to exit administration by 12 July, under the control of a consortium fronted by businessman Charles Green, which currently has preferred bidder status.



    If the CVA proposal fails, it is Mr Green’s intention to purchase Rangers assets and set up a new company or newco to take the club forward.



    This would involve the SPL approving a transfer of Rangers share and setting any conditions for entry. Approval would also be needed from the SFA as the licensing body.



    ‘Appropriate sanctions’



    Mr Doncaster told BBC Scotland that he was not expecting a Newco application from Rangers as it was the administrators’ view that the CVA proposal “had a reasonable chance of success”.



    If one did come forward, he said, “it is for the clubs to determine that decision and for them to impose appropriate sanctions as they see fit at that time”.



    The SPL chief executive said that clubs had turned down a proposal to vote through fixed penalties for a newco as they preferred the flexibility to deal with any application on a case-by-case basis.



    Continue reading the main story



    Start Quote


    (The SPL) remains the best supported league per head of population anywhere in Europe”


    End Quote


    Neil Doncaster



    SPL chief executive


    Mr Doncaster said that the SPL investigation into allegations of dual contracts at Rangers, related to the club’s use of employee benefit trusts (EBTs), “hadn’t had the co-operation that we would have been hoping for” from the club’s administrators.



    “I think it was their view that any investigation was more appropriate to take place after the outcome of the big tax case (related to EBT use),” he said.



    “Our view, is that we needed to get on with the investigation.”



    The SPL confirmed on Thursday that the lawyers appointed to oversee the probe had received documents requested from Rangers.



    Mr Doncaster said that he thought the “full information” on dual contracts would “only emerge on the outcome of the big tax case”.



    “Ultimately, our board may have to make a decision prior to then, as to whether they have sufficient information at that point to conduct a disciplinary process,” he said.



    “What they have made clear though is that any such prosecution which arises from the investigation would be in front of a wholly independent panel and that would be made up of eminent lawyers without any association to any SPL club.”



    Fit-and-proper test



    The SPL chief executive also said that it was extremely difficult to design a fit-and-proper test for prospective new owners of clubs.



    “If you talk about past criminal record, then arguably Ghandi I think had a criminal record, and ultimately he’s be a fit and proper person to run a premier league club in Scotland but he might be forbidden by such an objective test.”



    Mr Doncaster said the SPL’s rules did not allow them to vet potential owners and as such no vetting had been carried out on prospective new Rangers owner Charles Green.



    He said the SFA did have such a test and that would be an issue for them.



    Mr Doncaster also said that he did not know who any of Mr Green’s investors were and admitted that he had not asked either.



    “It’s not for us to be involved”, he said, “we deal with the club, not the underlying owners of those clubs.”



    The SPL chief executive said that despite headline-grabbing difficulties within the league this season it “remains the best supported league per head of population anywhere in Europe”.



    He also rejected claims that the SPL was not for purpose, saying league was “in rude health” and clubs were doing “incredibly well”.



    The Neil Doncaster interview will be broadcast on Newsnight Scotland at 23:00. The full version will be available online afterwards.

  4. borrocks borrocks turned away for one moment (2 actually, wife’s watching mad Men, Joanie’s gotta tight dress on) and I miss my podium destiny again.

  5. Hey there Larrybhoy!…..have I been ranting today,eh? You would be too if you were as frazzled as I am! A bhig Hail! Hail! to you.


    ScratchEmAtYourPeril csc…

  6. TinyTim,



    Even if they wanted to bow to Rangers, they cannot. This goes to the root of Fifa’s monopoly – the SFA will be forced to act in the manner Fifa demand.

  7. Gourock emerald,



    i said the yac thing just to torment.



    keep it lit

  8. President What School Did You Go To must be giving Stewart some good advice which is allowing him to remain in office. :-)

  9. I read earlier that Celtic paid £750,000 out on an EBT in the earlie to mid noughties. Can someone put my mind at rest and say it wasn’t for salary!

  10. GourockEmeraldBhoy on

    Sorry to go off topic guys, misses is trying to railroad me into a holiday before I,v even had a chance to open a can.



    Has anybody recently stayed at the Bellevue apartments in Alcudia, looking to see if they are any good for us and 2 young bhoys.




  11. Me,I think the SFA statement is very good news. The 2 question to be addressed very soon will be –


    1. Does Dunfermline or Dundee take up the 12th place in next year’s SPL?


    2. Will our new Year derby game be against Motherwell or St Mirren?

  12. It appears that Craig Whyte caused the club fewer problems than the administrators have. These rangers fans don’t realise when they’ve got it good!

  13. What they like? The peepul, I mean. Give them an inch…the law might be ass but sometimes an ass can come back to kick you right in the choppers! Whooooof!



    What exactly is the difference between suspension & expulsion in SFA terms?

  14. Clashcitybhoy on

    Paul 67,


    Utilising your connections in the press, I would be extremely grateful if you could keep my name in the public profile, by advising your contacts at Sky , BBC etc that I am not interested in the Director of Football role (which may or may not exist) at Liverpool


    Instead I will be focussing on a new role without a clearly defined job spec, whilst simultaneously burying my head in the sand.

  15. •-:¦:-•** -:¦:- sparkleghirl :¦:-.•**• -:¦:-• on

    Stewart M. Regan ‏@StewartRegan


    @DKeith0904 Read my tweets….we will not appeal to a CIVIL COURT. Football will deal with football matters.

  16. Once A Bhoy..... on

    This ties in with a reply I had just posted to Paulie Walnuts on RTC:



    Not debating a word of your legal thoughts Paulie, but is this simply a legal case? With the introduction of FIFA it may well be that they are not happy with any stepdown following this move by DnP.



    For me they could well face the same punishment plus additional for further breech of the rules in going to the CoS.



    1. A straight bat to say accept the punishment or be expelled from Assosciation football.


    2. Accept the original punishment within x days or we will add a suspension from the Scottish Cup.


    3. Given the severity of your original offence allied to this secondary offence you are now suspended from Assosciation football for 1 year.


    4. The ultimate expulsion for a total disregard for fellow members over a prolonged period.



    For me these are the doors they have opened with their selfish and wilful foot stamping behaviour. I would not be surprised if FIFA now have a man working full time overseeing the actions of the SFA and the other chairmen will be aware if this is the case.



    I can’t help but think the whole action was designed to goad the authorities into action. If not it is ineptitude on a possibly fatal scale.

  17. …………….surely ‘Bawface’ will organise a summit………or sumthin’ nooo?




  18. Ellboy - I am Neil Lennon, YNWA. on

    I hope your information is cast iron in regards to The SFA suspending Rangers for taking this to court.



    Paul can you explain the following?


    “The initial case will be referred back to the SFA Appellate Tribunal”



    Surely this means Regan and the SFA are wrongly adhering to the courts ruling in sending this back to the tribunal? i would have thought The SFA were obliged to ignore the courts and enforce the tribunals embargo decision. As taking any direction at all from the courts is surely bringing them into the game, which is obviously prohibited?

  19. lochgoilhead bhoy on 31 May, 2012 at 20:29 said:



    Aye Roddy McMillan was excellent in the role – funny how the ‘ol noggins memory bank work – I’d completely forgotten about that series until the mention of Moscow, and then it came back no problem

  20. •-:¦:-•** -:¦:- sparkleghirl :¦:-.•**• -:¦:-• on

    The Hat on 31 May, 2012 at 20:48 said:


    Even if they wanted to bow to Rangers, they cannot. This goes to the root of Fifa’s monopoly – the SFA will be forced to act in the manner Fifa demand.



    And all because the stupid Fighting Fund made them go to the Court of Session.

  21. I’ll only believe it when it actually happens. Too many false dawns. And Satan F.C. has been struttin’ its stuff with impunity. They will operate their scorched earth tactics if it means the whole edifice is immolated. They are mad,they are fascist,they arra peepil as they remind us daily.


    DoubtingThomas csc

  22. jock steins celtic on

    once a bhoy



    agree. Duff & Phelps didn’t do this cos they were outraged at the SFA’s original decision, it was a calculated move.

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