Tax, rules, Juninho and EBTs


The SPL yesterday released a statement concerning the Employee Benefit Trust payment Celtic made in 2005 to Juninho, in response to what sounded like unfounded allegations made earlier this week.

The league noted, “we have seen reports regarding an EBT in relation to a former player of Celtic FC.  The SPL has investigated the arrangements and documentation in that case and has determined that there is no evidence of any breach of SPL Rules”.

Many good employers have understood the benefit of assisting individual members of staff during times of crisis or personal hardship.  One very practical way of doing this is to lend them money, which happens in businesses up and down the country every day.  When the nature of these transactions involve either a company of sufficient size, a lengthy repayment period, or a high value loan, a formal structure is needed to establish the terms of the transaction, not only for the benefit of employer and employee, but also for the tax authorities – who authorise tax-free payments of this kind.

These tax rules were not established to allow wealthy individuals to escape their social duty.

Not long after Rangers first operated an Employee Benefit Trust Celtic were approached and offered consultancy to establish a similar scheme.  The promised benefits were huge, vast quantities of cash would no longer go to HMRC and would be freed up to spend on new players.

Celtic were not convinced.

Loans would need to be repaid and if not, contractually binding transactions would need to be documented in accordance with SPL and SFA rules, and this very documentation would make them liable for tax.  For Celtic, EBTs could only be used in limited circumstances, would be unable to deliver a significant impact on the business, and would introduce a further layer of professional costs.

“How can these work?” That was the question. How on earth can a club pay millions of pounds into a Trust none of which is contractual? Players, and their agents, like to have things written down. If you write it down and inform the authorities, you’re taxed on it. Celtic were not prepared to enter any written agreement and not declare it to their auditors, HMRC or the football authorities.

What was the cost of this principled stance?

In season 2004-05 former World Cup winner, Juninho, arrived at Celtic from Middlesbrough on a straightforward contract, his only contract with the club, which was correctly registered with the football authorities.  He only lasted eight months before agreeing to terminate his deal.  Celtic made a payment of around £750k into an EBT the player had from before his time at the club.

Celtic informed HMRC of the details of their EBT transaction with Juninho and were told this was regarded as income, not a loan, and that they would need to pay tax.  Celtic then paid tax due on top of the £750k which went to Juninho.  It was a pointless and expensive exercise for Celtic, but they dealt with it honestly and openly.

The club’s understandings of EBTs from five years earlier were confirmed, this was not a way to avoid taxation by filtering part of a player’s income away from PAYE.  Board members of any other club which understood how to make this work were clearly a lot smarter than our guys.  They were also able to buy players and win leagues while our board were hammered daily for their prudent values.

I bet directors at that other club are sounding pretty contrite now, humbled by the emerging news. There will be no self-serving vainglorious rabble rousing.

Far from Celtic being subject to criticism on this matter, scrutiny of their actions will only reveal the stark cost of following the rules when others don’t.

Congratulations to the campaigners who for 23 years sought Justice for the 96.  We all watch the game in a safer environment because of the loss endured by the families bereaved at Hillsborough.  Yesterday’s report condemns the actions of many: some senior police officers, sections of the media, one or two of who should never work in the industry again, and a former MP, whose actions were truly appalling, and who remains a knight of the realm, but those running the game, those responsible for Health and Safety standards, and various governments have a responsibility to bear.

Dangerous crushing inside and outside football grounds was a fact of life in the 1980s, including at the Janefield St entrance to Celtic Park.

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  1. Ghuys, the more we try to argue the case about junhino and the EBT the more credibility we give to their argument.



    Things are simple, the charge is against undeclared contracts to the SFA, not payments by EBT. So if any of them mention junhino just ask them how many contracts he had that were declared with SFA, no need to mention EBT.



    Kev, if you are not a Hun you are doing an excellent impression of one.




  2. Kev,



    For a start, I never referred to you as a troll.



    As for being One with the club, then it depends if you wantbto e One with the club.



    I think that nost of us feel that way, butbin life in general, therevare always mavericks, who identify with a group, but choose to stay on the periphery.



    I suppose it gives them the ” right” to snipe or look for flaws.



    There are flaws in every relationship, be it business, sport of, dare I say it, marriages.



    The trick is in how much emphasis you put on the negatives, against how much joy you take from the relationship.



    Personally, I take great joy in being a Celtic supporter.



    Bob Kelly was a great chairman of Celtic, but he had his flaws



    Personally, I think the structure and people Fergus entrusted the club to is the best regime that the club has had in my lifetime.



    Make no mistake, any slip ups by the club would be devoured by a hostile media, colleagues of your own, no doubt.































    Have done for over sixty years and hope to continuevto so do forwaeer time I have left.

  3. If you’ve seen ‘Game of Thrones’ this analogy will make sense : TSD is the Joffrey of CQN.


    If you haven’t, this’ll make sense too : TSD is a lonely, angry child who is being spiteful because he hurts so much. It must feel awful. Is there no way we can help him?


    He called me ‘a washed up auld leftie’. I took no offence : in truth, it’s quite accurate. He just found a cruel way to say it, i.e. an older gentleman of the socialist persuasion. My ego can live with that.


    So….HH, TSD. One day you’ll catch on.

  4. I am so glad that we have business people on the board at Celtic Park, I am also so glad the Peter Lawwell is a dye in the wool Celtic Fan having been in his company before during and after games in the late seventies and eighties por cierto

  5. The Scottish FA can confirm that The Rangers Football Club Ltd have today received confirmation that full membership of the Association has been transferred.




    More grist to the mill which will eventually destroy football in Scotland.


    I really hope that the people who get things done are busy looking at the small nations league kind of thing that has been mooted/andied about recently.


    How can we stand for this level of continuous and seemingly eternally institutionalised favouritism any longer.


    Scunnered levels rising……again.


    So, Chunky must’ve found a fit and proper person by the very people in the sfa he threatens and insults on a freewheelin’ basis? He and CO must’ve had some right cosy wee fireside chats.


    How long before that arch mason hun ratbag Ogilvie gets the boot?


    You couldn’t make this stuff up. If it wasn’t so sickeningly real it’d be getting called paranoid fantasy…..an accusation we had to labour under for decades until the lid blew off.


    And now that it continues quite openly, we’re supposed to accept that it’s all okay?


    Because that’s what is happening. And that is the readon for all this whataboutery…..a smokescreen to obfuscate the continued blatant corruption.

  6. 67Heaven ... I am Neil Lennon..!!.. Ibrox belongs to the creditors on




    10:21 on 14 September, 2012


    see those twats Keys and Gray opening up their show with comments on how they are fuming about favouritism in the way the SPL reacted to Juninho’s termination being paid via an EBT.


    Amazing the DR can be quite so specific on this and no a mention of their payments.



    Interesting also to hear the average hxn who’re always going on about EBTs themselves not being illegal…..they seem not to recognise this with Junhino. They are not; it’s how they are used.


    Celtic clearly saw the danger, took guidance from HMRC and reacted accordingly. The Orcs just kept their heads in the sand.



    Stupid, stupid Orcs.






    They didn’t actually “keep their heads in the sand”……..they thought they were ‘untouchable’, and could do what they liked, deciding not to pay the tax……what a shock Murray must have got when the tax bill arrived. ……. LOL ……….by ‘trashing’ Manchester, their fans displayed the same ‘cultural’ arrogance / ignorance …….. They have had so many ‘ whit the…..’ moments recently, they don’t know what to do……….and it’s all good stuff….!!!!

  7. 67Heaven ... I am Neil Lennon..!!.. Ibrox belongs to the creditors on

    por cierto



    12:38 on


    14 September, 2012



    I particularly liked his “other planet” dig ……. LOL ……and, you are so correct, PL is a great Celtic Fhan………






    They’re not getting out of this hole……..sevco will not survive beyond Xmas……greengo will be off, with pockets full, before then……..

  8. ASonOfDan



    Last week when you made a comment about Slovak and Poles I asked one of the CQNers if your accusations were right? I got the answer, No, these accusations were nonsense. I got few lines of text telling why your so called facts were not true.


    First, I have been waiting for your another post telling it was your bad moment when you wrote that post, especially after fine Snake Plissken explanation. There was no reply from you. Today I see why my expectations were stupid. While scrolling back I noticed you repeated your opinions and said they were based on hard facts. There was something more today – “Poles and Slovak have bad impact on the level of your life”.


    Let me say something out. I have German roots. In 1986 when I started University in Warsaw, one from my family who lived near Munchen told me he got job for me, place at the Uni there and flat. I decided to stay here. I can give plenty of reason for my decision was right. One of them is that live in a country that is my homeland. Going somewhere and hear what you have to say would sadden me. You know, we Poles are stupid nation, very hyper-proud. I’m very likely above average line.



    Z. who is very happy that has not that bad influence on the level of your life.

  9. Morning all.



    This weeks futile attempt to select a horse which miraculously rediscovers some form is represented by Move in Time . Portland Handicap or Doncaster 3.00 pm if you prefer.


    Good luck to others.

  10. MHARK67


    09:57 on


    15 September, 2012


    Can any one point me in the direction of where to post horse selection for the tipsters comp today??


    Fleagle1888 usually posts regarding this but I haven’t seen anything yet



    So Fleagle if u are lurking



    My selection


    1:45 Bath ……REBECCA’S ROMEO

  11. Morning all,looking at Anderiego 1.50 don also fancy Valentine’s Day’s Picabo 3.00 don.


    Settling for one in the 4.15 doncaster ,Penitent,just because it reminds of the good grace


    in which our friend Ally and his followers have accepted the punishment(?) of their ole




    Hail hail ,good luck.

  12. Down at donny yesterday and forgot to post my selection! Sadly didn’t matter as hee haw winners anyway! Young O’Brien needs strung up for that ride on Camelot or is that my wallet talking!!

  13. CQN Saturday Naps Competition – Week 7 Results & Standings



    Apologies to all… I was unable to get online on Saturday, so have only picked up your Nap selections tonight… the good news though, nobody lost out as there were no winners… :o)



    +£ 4.88 Rockon Neil Lennon (2)


    +£ 3.00 Che (1)


    +£ 2.20TheBarcaMole (2)


    +£ 1.25 green T (2)


    +£ 1.03 hunza rugli (2)


    +£ 1.00 BULL67 (1)


    +£ 1.00 voguepunter (1)


    +£ 0.50 Sixteen roads to Golgotha (2)


    -£ 2.00 fleagle1888 (1)


    -£ 2.00 gerry_bhoy (1)


    -£ 2.50 tommytwisttommyturns (1)


    -£ 3.00 leftclicktic (1)


    -£ 4.00 Glen (1)


    -£ 7.00 Bada Bing


    -£ 7.00 bobbymurdoch’s winklepickers


    -£ 7.00 Cathal


    -£ 7.00 Citibhoy


    -£ 7.00 gourockbhoy


    -£ 7.00 Magnificentseven


    -£ 7.00 MHARK67


    -£ 7.00 Raymac


    -£ 7.00 Som mes que un club


    -£ 7.00 Valentine’s Day


    -£ 7.00 What is the Stars



    *No selections from :


    Bada Bing, BULL67, Che, Citibhoy, fleagle1888, gerybhoy, hunza rugli, Magnificentseven, Sixteen roads to Golgotha



    Cheers, fleagle1888