Spending like the Borgias? Time to move on. Conspiracy to subvert the rules? We have a problem.


So much happened yesterday, I’ll be as brief as possible:

Newco Rangers sent their counsel to the Court of Session to protest Charles Green’s contract with the club, stating it should pay legal expenses, now crystallising ahead of his forthcoming criminal trial.

In opposing Green, James Wolffe QC raised various objections, but as is often the case when people speak on behalf of Newco, included an arbitrary insistence that Newco operated the same club as the now liquidated Rangers.

Green’s QC, Jonathan Brown, put his pit boots on before stating his client’s case, but tantalisingly, before lunch informed the court that he would return to the same club/new club debate later.  And didn’t he.  Brown explained that Sevco Scotland purchased the assets of Rangers, not the club itself, with poetic prose adding:

“The team are paid by Sevco, plat at a ground owned by Secvo, are trained by a manager who is employed by Sevco and fans buy tickets from Sevco.  That is the business that is being carried on.”

Adding that Rangers were “a collection of assets”, “What if the players were sold to one person and Ibrox to antoher, where is the ‘club’ then?”

I had to look away from court reporter, James Dolman’s Twitter feed at this point.  It was like watching an acquaintance being humiliated.  Not something you want to see.

Lord Doherty will determine if Newco should pay Green’s costs in due course, but this will be soon, as Jonathan Brown noted, “the rainy day has arrived”.

This next bit is really important:

Soon after court ended, Dave King was out with a rambling statement on the Newco website.  If it was designed to play to the galleries, it hit the spot.  If it was designed to influence what happens to his club, or how others will regard his input, it was surely an horrendous mistake.

It was a hard day to be chairman of Rangers International FC PLC.  The court hearing only happened because the club objected to its contract with Green, so the unedifying episode could easily have been avoided.  Despite this, sometimes you have to shut your mouth.

Sure, some Newco fans love a bit of grandstanding, but you know what yesterday’s statement will achieve.  If the objective of the statement was to convince other Scottish clubs not to consider disciplinary action against Sir David Murray, or oldco Rangers, for their actions, it was an almighty miscalculation.

Threats seldom work.  This one is unlikely to curry favour: “If the history of our Club comes under attack we will deal with it in the strongest manner possible and will hold to account those persons who have acted against their fiduciary responsibilities to their own clubs and to Scottish football.”

In short:

Don’t threaten clubs you are trying to influence.

Don’t grandstand to your own fans if you are trying to influence other clubs.

Keep a poker face.  Keep your mouth shut, even if it means taking grief from your fans for the lack of public reaction.

King’s statement also addressed the sporting advantage issue from what we now know was an unlawfully operated tax scheme.  While the EBT scheme saved tens of millions of pounds, and King earlier intimated this did provide a sporting advantage, yesterday he insisted the advantage was financial, that the shareholders were “committed to providing funding to the club” and would have done so, if required.

Here’s the thing, in 2012 another King statement revealed, “I have made a claim of £20m on the basis of non-disclosure by the then chairman, David Murray, of Rangers true financial position as far back as 2000.”

That commitment to further shareholder funding seems predicated on some controversial information.  According to King, of course.  Controversial enough to launch a £20m claim, but not to inhibit investment.

For the war-chest hunters among you, if you read this article covering King’s 2012 statement, you’ll find a strong clue.

One other quick but important point:

Some media are attempting to portray questions of sporting advantage as Rangers being punished for spending money they could afford, a travesty, as so many other clubs have done likewise.

This must surely be a deliberate attempt to misunderstand the issue and manipulate the debate.

No one suggests Rangers should be punished for spending money they could not afford.  The questions are straightforward:

Did Rangers break tax law, break SFA rules and break SPL rules, when contracting football players?

Did they disclose matters openly with authorities (in other words, inadvertently make mistakes), or did they conspire to subvert the rules by hiding incriminating information?

Spending like the Borgias?  Time to move on.  Conspiracy to subvert the rules?  We have a problem.

Don’t be distracted by potential ramifications to these questions, they are irrelevant for now.  We should consider no more than did they break all of the above rules, should any the rule breaking be interpreted as an oversight, or does evidence of conspiracy to subvert the rules exist?

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  1. thomthethim for Oscar OK on

    HEBCELT on 13TH NOVEMBER 2015 4:40 PM


    ThomtheTim BBC Scotland not Sky




    Thanks. I noticed that after I posted.


    Pity it’s not on Sky, IF it showed an effective protest against the residents of Hampden.



    Seems we only stage protests against ourself.

  2. OK folks let’s start thinking.



    Celtic are unlikely to say anything related to LNS until the date for appeal has passed except perhaps to say they have a position that they will state if no appeal is made.



    That’s not hiding anything , it’s just that they would be stupid demanding an LNS retrial if one of the substantial grounds for doing so were later reversed. Pretty self evident.



    If no appeal then I doubt they will ask for title stripping to appear anywhere in any statement and they will ask for an independent enquiry.



    Now given that Celtic have a good grasp of the Res12 issues, if I were them I would want that to be a part of any enquiry on the grounds that information about already illegal ebts was kept from SPL lawyers thus comprimising the Terms of Refence for the LNS Commission AND the wee tax bill that appears on the face of all evidence to have been overdue at 30 June 2011 came as a direct consequence of HMRC providing evidence to RFC of side letters relating to the DOS ebts that should also have been given to SPL lawyers.



    That would provide reason to have a UEFA investigation of it all or a UEFA representative on the investigating panel.



    After such an Investigation the findings should be made public with reference to the evidence and with conclusions whether an extreme case of deception had occurred or not.



    I’d give that report a month to settle in before deciding how best to close the issue including justice if the findings show it is required and at that point make recommendations for institutional reform of the SFA to prevent anything like this ever happening again.



    If we make this just about stripping titles we will lose the war even if we win the titles battle.

  3. Campbell Ogilvy for the jail i hope


    Nice one D Law-the 1st thing i noticed when we moved to a new area when i was a kid in the 70s NO BALL GAMES-on every bit of grass

  4. Jungle Jim Hot Smoked on

    ” Scottish football authorities…. rules are intended to uphold sporting integrity.”


    In 2013, we expressed surprise – shared by many observers and supporters of the game – over the findings of the SPL Commission that no competitive or sporting advantage had resulted. That remains our view.”



    Short version: You got it wrong last time; get it right this time. No excuses.

  5. hebcelt



    Agree with that.



    Blind Faith seemed an apposite name for a band that only seemed a good idea, but never a good reality.



    Faith Mithplathed CSC

  6. With our AGM coming up next Friday I believe Celtic had to issue a statement especially after that clown, King issuing his nonsense yesterday.



    I read the Celtic statement as completely non-controversial and consistent with previous positions and also with common sense. It should also allow the board to dampen down any reaction from the floor next Friday. Had the AGM not been taking place I think we would have said



    No doubt the SMSM will attack Celtic much more for a considered statement than they did the Huns for Kings bluster – we’ll be wading in, attacking, etc, but frankly who gives a toss about the Scottish media any more.



    Well done Board, I say.

  7. Margaret McGill on

    That Celtic FC statement in full….


    ” gonny no dae that?”


    “yeez were tellt in 2013”

  8. Like a lot of Celtic fans I’m mildly surprised Celtic have chosen to make a statement. I’d imagine Celtic are much more clued up on the probability for ‘non appeal’ than most in the public eye, though we’re perfectly entitled to have used, the very carefully worded statement that we did, even when Sevco announce any phoney baloney pretence of appeal, “that will come any day soon”



    Story not over csc

  9. Jungle Jim Hot Smoked on

    James Forrest


    Of course you agree with me. After all, James Forrest and Jungle Jim are just variations on a theme 0:-)




  10. Jungle Jim Hot Smoked on



    Do you think Sevco will announce intentions to appeal? I am sure they won`t actually appeal but do you think they will pretend? Indeed, just as I type, I wonder . If they KNOW any appeal will be dismissed, would they appeal then play the unfair victim card yet again?




  11. glendalystonsils on

    James Forrest on 13th November 2015 4:52 pm



    I totally agree with that post. You can say a lot with a very few words. No bluster, no glib and shameless rhetoric needed.

  12. “surprise” is a strong word in legal/quasi legal situations. Celtic has confirmed that, when the time is right, we will seek proper review of how the SFA handled the case. Hope this goes all the way to UEFA.



    A thought to help the Chairmen of any club that has to pay bonuses to players if trophies are re-allocated. I don’t think will happen, but if it did, New Rangers signed an agreement to honour football debts of Oldco, so they would have to have a whip round to pay Neil Lennon, Alan Thompson, Artur Boruc etc. the bonuses that their cheating deprived them.



    Delightful thought to end the week.

  13. Jungle Jim Hot Smoked on



    That was very good. A refreshing change from the necessary harshness prevalent on CQN`s current (!) topic.




  14. Absolutely Glendalystonsil, King spoke volumes and said very little, Celtic said very little but it spoke volumes.

  15. Cue Dick Wilson at Shortbread saying ‘ it’s an unnecessary,inflammatory statement from Celtic…….

  16. JJHS



    SMSM have already launched ‘the appeal’, on the very day the COS announcement was made. They’ve even found two Celtic dafties to say ‘titles were won on the park’.



    Most people know that there is no appeal because there is no one or no money to fund it



    It won’t stop the victimhood or those with ‘no appetite’, to uphold the injustice of what happened, the campaign will continue whilst the SFA are left to judge upon themselves.



    But it won’t won’t end, even when the SFA announce themselves innocent of any breach.

  17. Hebcelt – glad the support have forced a statement out of the board. But it seems to indicate celtic dont see it as a matter for them. What the statement should have said is that we await the courts and the SFA action and will consider our own based on that.



    Right now the statement says – its not for us to do anything about.



    NOW you should ALL be dissappointed in that – but not surprised…..

  18. What gets me about this cover-up is this.


    They powers that be can crack FIFA….Drug Cheating is currently being exposed…Lance Armstrong….you name it.


    But they cannot seem to lay a glove on the biggest cheats in the history of football.


    Very Strange.


    Conmen and chancers running the SFA….Referees on a decades long organised cheating operation against Celtic.


    But still they carry on.


    It beggers belief…that a conman like Dave King can shout his mouth off like that.






  19. Benjamin Button FC on




    “On principle, individuals should think very carefully about the assets they are gaining exposure to, before being dazzled by the tax breaks potentially on offer. The designers and promoters of tax relief schemes often argue they create bona fide investment opportunities that would be attractive even in the absence of tax relief. The claim may be debatable but is certainly pragmatic: HM Revenue & Customs says schemes that are sold for the purpose of avoiding tax will not be granted reliefs.


    In the words of Jolyon Maugham QC, a barrister specialising in tax litigation: ‘A government relief should never put you in a position where you are indifferent as to the underlying investment.'”




    Wise words from someone rolled out by the bbc to support sevco’s tax dodging.



    Just pay your taxes.

  20. BBC Scotland are still at regards EBT’s they now describe them effectively as loans which were not repaid,no I will help the BBC writer here,3 judges decided the EBT were earnings which the recipients should have had tax paid on these earnings, how does anyone come to the BBC’s conclusion?






    That was very good. A refreshing change from the necessary harshness prevalent on CQN`s current (!) topic.








    Absolutely. Totally agree.



    HH to you both.



    What we have to remember about your average Scottish football numpty is this.







    Although they hate the facts that;







    1) The huns cheated





    2) That the SFA/SPL helped them





    3) That not one iota of remorse has ever been shown by them





    4) They they are overtly sectarian and are race supremacists




















    Keep telling it like it IS AWE_NAW.

  23. Celtic have made a statement, I suppose it won’t be to liking of quite a few who were looking for something a bit more robust


    just have to live with it and get on with some more important things in life

  24. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on




    Oooft, their hatred is oozing out of their Orc pours

  25. Ray Winstone's Big Disembodied Heid on

    Wilson is now not even trying to hide the fact he’s a hurting hun.



    Glibby’s statement was apparently not inflammatory, but Lawwel’s bland pronouncement is.



    Only in Scoddland.