Tax analysis along Christine Grahame rules


I really don’t care if journalists stick a microphone in Dermot Desmond’s face and ask him questions about tax, Dermot is big and bad enough to look after himself, the letter he issued to BBC’s Mark Daly confirms as much. What troubles me is the inordinate double standards employed by the Scottish media.

Graeme Souness and Walter Smith were recipients of an aggressive tax avoidance scheme, funded by Rangers before their liquidation, while employed as managers of clubs in England. Why are they not subjected to the microphone treatment when they walk into football stadiums, as they do every week?

Unlike anything Dermot has been asked about (no one disputes the legality of Dermot’s arrangement), the Rangers scheme was found in court to be in contravention of tax law.

Why Souness and Smith were in receipt of money from Rangers, while they were employed elsewhere, is a question studiously avoided by their many friends in the media. It is not just these two. More than 50 Rangers players received payments through the same mechanism, all struck down in court. Not a week goes by without some of these former players or managers making media appearances, several sit down with the very people who deemed want to talk about Dermot Desmond this week. None are called to account for their struck-down tax arrangements in the way Dermot was for his (legal) arrangements.

I feel we are in the territory of SNP’s Christine Grahame here. Celtic do nothing wrong so change the frame of reference to allow you to tangentially include Celtic. Then screaming “Celtic” and “tax” all over the front page for an issue that involves one of our shareholders, but has nothing to do with the club.  It is sloppy, but unlike Ms Grahame’s intervention, no innocents will be locked up this time.


Brendan Rodgers – The Road to Paradise The Official Autobiography is available now from CQNBookstore.com – the first 100 orders received will come with a free gift.

From a small village on the north-east coast of Ireland to the treble-winning manager of Celtic, Brendan Rodgers’ football journey has been a remarkable one of dedication, hard work, a desire to always keep improving and a determination to succeed at the highest level of the sport … and throughout his life there has always been a love of his team … Celtic Football Club.

In his own words, Brendan Rodgers tells his story – from a promising young footballer growing up in Carnlough and dreaming of playing for Celtic one day through to his professional career – as a player, a coach and now as one of football’s top managers. And Celtic supporters will also enjoy an insight into a remarkable season – from the first competitive game in Gibraltar through to the thrilling Scottish Cup final, with plenty of highlights in between, including the manager’s first trophy triumph and some unforgettable Glasgow derbies.




Click Here for Comments >

About Author


  1. Jophes




    Yeah, i hear ya.








    Surely we have seen this media pattern enough times to know that this little inferrance toward “Celtic = bad” is just a little bowl of potpourri to mask the smell of smelly stuff coming down the pipes at Ibrox.

  2. Paul67


    I may be wrong but I think you previously mentioned that BBC Scotland had a number of Tims in senior positions – It certainly doesn’t look like it.





    Thanks for the replies,lads. Some of the ones you mentioned brought tears to my eyes at the recollection.



    For a club with such a rich heritage of top strikers-even in darker times-we’ve had some right howlers. Including virtually every one signed when RD was in charge,sadly.

  4. Wit aboot Queenie?


    Rippin aff the poor folks who canny afford a decent new 3 piece an a telly except from ‘Bright House’ @ 299% (or mer) interest.



  5. Just for clarification….




    Was it not BBC Scotland which produced and broadcast “They sold the jerseys”?




    I think it was.




    From memory lots of bouquets on this site and lots of brickbats on the likes of FF!





  6. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    The Desmond tax “story” would have been more meaningful if they had said how much of the avoided tax gets diverted into the Celtic coffers. Hmmm, no mention of this. I wonder why!


    Absolutely nothing to do with Celtic and they know it.


    Hurts them badly that we are doing so well both on and off the park while their favoured club is a complete shambles.

  7. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    Fair play to Daly for the work he put into this. Not at all deterred by his failure to uncover those “missing” EBT recipients…..

  8. Thirds63


    Correct – but since then – same club fiasco, cramming shortbread full of ebt recipients, nada on Take over panel, and ignoring murray’s part in tax dodging

  9. THIRDS63 on 7TH NOVEMBER 2017 12:31 PM



    Wheeshed you, we’ve got the pitch forks oot an we’re gonny enjoy it. Besides, theres no fitba on.

  10. BBC Scotland has a number of analysts/ panelists Thompson Ferguson Rae to name three,who were recipients of EBTs found to be illegal in court and appealed to the highest court in the land which found in favour of HMRC and the taxpayer, Daly you do not have far to go and find the people who are guilty of tax evasion, spread your wings further and go for Smith McLeish David Murray etc , but you wont you took a cheap shot at DD and Celtic you have zero credibility and I hope that you and those behind this are held to account.

  11. I would urge all Rangers* fans to write to their local TD / Member of the Swiss Federal Assembly / Governer of Bermuda about Celtic’s owner [sic] dodging tax and therefore stop Celtic from getting 10 in a row.



    It’s probably the best chance they have.



    That and nuclear war…

  12. it is interesting that DD also sent a copy of the letter to the Director General of the BBC in London, he is certainly not messing about or bluffing here & BBC Scotland would be wise to take note. Much was made of Mark Daly’s investigation into Craig Whyte in October 2011, where Mr Whyte threatened to sue the BBC, but alas he never did as he didn’t have the means or time to do so… The Kaiser has both!! in abundance.


    I’ve heard a business consultant on the Irish radio on one occasion where he stated “if I could chose one person who I didn’t want to be coming after me legally, then it would be Dermot Desmond”

  13. P.S. I would actually quite like it if billionaires around the world did pay a wee bit more tax…to the authorities of wherever they are domiciled…you know…just a wee bit more…

  14. Davidopoulos


    I think all people should pay what they are required to pay , tax law appears to be a mess and open to interpretation, hence people going to court about tax bills, accountants find a way round tax law , then you have havens these need policing and taxed.

  15. Yet Celtic will continue to accommodate the BBC and their chums in the MSM. Wee Paddy will be available for them to interview this week.



    Does Celtic need these snakes more than they need Celtic?



    I’d ask DD to think about that.

  16. TWC


    I wouldn’t ban them – just ignore them


    no interviews


    don’t take their questions at press conferences


    minimum press passes

  17. Other TV Channels are available.



    Just not ones you are forced to pay for whether you watch it or not and not paying can lead to a criminal record or even jail.

  18. 67Heaven .. CHALLENGING THE LIE ..I am wee Oscar...... Ipox belongs to the creditors on

    They need to be careful they don’t get Dermot angry again ….. we know what happened the last time …. hahahahahahaha …….. they’re just pleased to connect Celtic with anything negative …. the poor wee bigoted souls … !!!! Defamation ???

  19. I noticed BBC Scotland TV put a caveat in later bulletins that it should be pointed out “ that Mr Desmond has done nothing illegal “ Wonder if they’d heard from his lawyers by the evening?



    BBC those bastions of morality that refer to Sir David and the chase for ‘55 with ease have been hot on the trail of anti Celtic stories with added gusto since 2012, because Rangers in the words of another ‘have suffered enough’



    It’s the ‘old firm’ BBC nomenclature don’t cha know and one is painted as bad as the other in unique Scotland.



    Whether it be Pacific Shelf, new Paradise, or Juaninho its all fodder for making Sevconia feel better about themselves, and feeding the notion that poor Rangers died when they didn’t need to, and it was all so unnecessary and avoidable . Miss, Miss ……..‘look what Tiimmy just did?’



    The only important bit is they died and there is no coming back especially not as Rangers.



    Mark Daly knows it better than most.

  20. Paul,



    DD and others may well have done nothing illegal. Which is fine as far as it goes.


    However, in his book ‘Ship of Fool’s, Fintan O’Toole made the point that governments could be influenced to alter laws to make legal the previously illegal.



    An example he gave was the Irish government’s alteration to the ninety days annual residency law.


    This alteration meant that if you arrived in Ireland one minute after midnight and later the same day, left one minute before midnight, it was considered that you had not used up one of your allotted ninety days.

  21. I’m a socialist. Dermot Desmond is the antithesis of all I believe. He and his like are enabled to avoid their responsibility to the rest of society on the back of whom they make their massive fortunes by governments controlled by corporate lobbyists and shills in various parliaments.



    I know the sevvies are creaming themselves over this (seems to be they think DD used all the cash he saved dodging tax he should have paid in Ireland to pay for Celtics success – I’ll leave others to point out just how wrong they are on that one) but essentially all they have now is another unfounded conspiracy which will feed their victimisation myth. It’ll hurt them in the end.



    The truth is that whatever taxes are payable by Celtic F.C. on profits, through PAYE, employer contributions to NI, VAT, council tax etc etc get paid in full and on time and they don’t operate dubious off shoring of money.



    For a fleeting moment I thought I felt some sympathy for their pain and then I realised it was just a bit of trapped wind and all was right with the world again.



    Oldco are dead. Newco are living out with their means. Maybe this DD shaped squirrel is about taking people’s eyes off the ‘going concern’ ball and insolvent trading, dubious issuing of licenses etc going on at the Badgers hole.

  22. South Of Tunis on




    Has announced his retirement .



    Nice wee tribute on Italian cooncil tele – watched while having lunch on the road to Palermo –



    His favourite pass -https://youtu.be/cRgUb3S9Yjk



    A wee tale re a school boy Pirlo dreaming of scoring a free kick for Italy in the Maracana-





    v Joe Hart-https://youtu.be/gXFWmpB-cPQ

  23. Quonno – could they nip North and stay the night to avail of that dodge? I suppose they were just hopping over to their London pads after a days business…… mind Brendan saying he met PL and DD in the letters London house which I suspect is not a bedsit in Dagenham.

  24. Has anybody pointed out to the orcs that their major shareholder is a real life de facto bona fide confirmed and convicted tax fraudster and a glib and shameless liar to boot?






    I’m sure someone will.

  25. I think people should be careful not to get too paranoid about all this.



    I reckon BBC Scotland will have looked for a Scottish link to hang a story on, and The Great Desmondo’s name has turned up.



    It seems the BBC wrote to him more than once asking for a comment/response, but were met with silence. Hence the ambush at CP. That makes for dramatic TV footage, so was entirely predictable.



    The Great Desmondo’s personal letter threatening legal action against the journalist individually is not on.



    As for Dailly being a hun, I think The Great Desmondo has been far more complimentary about them than Dailly has ever been.

  26. Hunderbirds are Gone on





    As you didn’t specify what kind of “worst”…..



    I think grammatically wise Charlie Nicholas was the wurser striker for Celtic.




  27. glendalystonsils on



    I noticed BBC Scotland TV put a caveat in later bulletins that it should be pointed out “ that Mr Desmond has done nothing illegal “



    They would have known that before the broadcast, so why the big headline splash?



    (Rhetorical question.)




    Peter Green, a REAL blues man. Saw him fairly recently with The Splinter Band, getting back to almost his best.


    Even attempted The Stumble and did well, just love the guy,


    Check out Rocky Athus who is now with John Mayall, something else. Actually met the guy and his son, real down to earth guy.




  29. The nothing illegal statement was in the 6.30 pm main news yesterday, I heard it. So is this a moral crusade on tax loopholes? The employ plenty of EBT recipients so what ids their stance on paying tax ?