The now legion of Celtic fans picking up the mantle


Celtic supporters like you and me get to see people do some great things.  I’ve watched people put £20 notes into a Foundation bucket when all they were asked for is £2.  Giving your money is a selfless act that some can afford more than others, but on Saturday night, around 100 Celtic fans gave their money and more: their time, pretty much their weekend, in order to do what they can for the homeless.

Money raised from the Celtic FC Foundation’s annual Celtic Park Sleep Out will feed and shelter some who the world has left behind in the winter months ahead.  The Foundation events are always rewarding, but I have never given as much of my time as those 100 people did this weekend.  So respect, where it’s due.

The London Sleep Out happens this coming Friday, details here, if you’re in the vicinity.  It takes place in the Whitechapel area of the city, where Br Walfrid worked on leaving Glasgow.  I can’t promise to do the Sleep Out next year, but we are in the company of good people whose example makes me want to do more.  I will do more throughout the Christmas Appeal and in 2019.

This is your Foundation.  It does not belong to the club or to the (now) legion of Celtic fans who pick up the mantle.  It is as important a part of Celtic as winning trophies, and it is a lot more important than spending hours online talking about the club.  If Celtic fans did not want to participate, it would quickly wither on the vine.  Just thought it’s worth a mention.

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    Football authorities aided by like minded mssm have a long history of playing the man not the ball.


    The responses to the article are predictable.


    When you have no defense shoot the messenger and muddy the waters.

  2. For anyone who can’t access that link previously posted.



    The following is a reproduction of a message sent today to Celtic FC ahead of their upcoming AGM. Fans of all clubs now have their eyes on how principled the Board will be in doing what is right now and for the future. This is a governance problem at the SFA not a club issue. It will take a club solution to fix the cancerous infestation though since fans and fan organisations have been sidelined by clubs and the games regulators from having their own voice. We all look to see if they will do the right thing and start the wheels rolling on real and meaningful change. The letter in full:



    Dear Mr Nicholson,



    I represent the group for SFA reform known as Fans Without Scarves. As a body we own no shares in Celtic though one of our 4 founding members fully supportive of these contents does. We retain a deep interest in the progress of the matter referred to in the title due to its potential implications for improving Scottish football governance for the better. To this end it is one of many troublesome issues relating to the stewardship of the game listed on our petition of no confidence at https://www.change.org/p/scottish-football-association-fundamental-change-at-the-sfa and which we write about on our website https://fanswithoutscarves.org/.



    We have contacted the SFA several times for an update on their notice of complaint and possible reference to CAS in Strasbourg but received no response. It will be no surprise we have little confidence in their effective management of the game, but their processes have so far been trusted by clubs including Celtic to properly investigate and action an investigation into the circumstances of the 2011/12 licence applications.



    The SFA took inordinately long to do this even after statements under oath in the Craig Whyte trial. When a case was finally brought it was restricted to the monitoring period – an issue we consider materially incorrect based upon evidence we understand you have been provided with regarding actions between member clubs and their finance providers and minutes relating to decisions of member clubs during the time of initial UEFA license applications.



    It would appear that through the terms of the Five Way Agreement the SFA has no longer jurisdiction to commence such actions on a now defunct member club, though why it signed up to such an agreement that restricts its ability to govern properly has never been made clear. This should be properly explained to all stakeholders including fans.



    In any case this issue has now stalled and the SFA appear to be particularly afraid of the consequences of referring this to CAS, presumably as it’s own role in an area of extreme concern would have proper scrutiny applied.



    As the club principally harmed by decisions which appear to be fundamentally flawed, the rest of the fans of Scottish football are looking to Celtic to stand up for the integrity and governance standards that we should be able to expect from those charged with providing them. To that end we would like to know:



    1. Have Celtic themselves received satisfactory response from the SFA that would enable them to conclude the SFA handling of this since passing the issue to their processes in 2017 can provide the sort of confidence in the running of the game we fans are entitled to?



    2. Are Celtic in a position to provide such information to such fans if it does exist since the SFA have failed entirely to do so despite one of their ‘strategic pillars’ being Trusted And Respected To Lead?



    3. If such explanation has not been satisfactorily provided, can Celtic provide a proper explanation for continuing to trust in the SFA judicial process when it continues to drag on without communication or delivery? Or failing that a plan for how they expect to move this issue forward which is too important to continue to let fester?



    4. Given in particular that agreements that have not been made public appear to have been signed with at least one member club which restricts historical actions that can be taken to improve accountability and governance of the game, but more generally also the compromised position of the regulatory bodies; are Celtic able to satisfactorily say to fans when selling to them that they are contributing to a fair game run on sporting principles with a completely empowered and impartial regulator?



    5. Have Celtic sought the views of other clubs and supporters organisations on the above issue? We have so far over 4,000 signatories (many fans of Aberdeen, Kilmarnock, Hibs, Hearts etc) exasperated to the point that they have signed a vote of no confidence in the SFA, many using phrases such as corrupt, not fit for purpose, old boys club and biased in their justifications for doing so.



    6. Given such concerns from the fans do the Boards of such clubs share and reflect these concerns? We are strong advocates for fan representation as our experience is often that clubs do not adequately represent the views and concerns of that biggest stakeholder and provider of income to the game. This is a chance for the club boards to show that they do listen.



    7. Certain letters relating to the disputed relevant tax demands indicated that the avoidance scheme and actions to hide it were tantamount to fraud. There is evidence from testimony in the highest court in the land that those involved concealed and made false representations in relation to the disguised remuneration and the tax liability. The objects were to obtain sporting and financial benefits at the expense of competitors who did not break the law, rules of the game and set out to deceive. Given the possibility of fraud and that being a criminal matter, have Celtic contacted the police seeking investigation into this?



    8. Given FFP within domestic football is considered part and parcel of good sporting governance, would Celtic lobby the SFA/SPFL for the introduction of ongoing regulatory financial reporting and restrictions within the domestic league to ensure responsible club management going forward?



    9. Would Celtic support the sharing of domestic shared revenues being at least partially contingent on FFP compliance?



    10. Would Celtic support and encourage the Scottish government to make public funding for football contingent upon set codes of sporting governance (similar to those already in place in England and Wales)?



    Thank you for taking the time to read and consider the above. We would be very grateful for a response to these issues and would hope to be able to count on teams such as Celtic to drive forward much needed reform to the antiquated and dysfunctional model currently run. For 20 years the major clubs have tried to reform unsuccessfully from within by musical chairs on committees and holding key positions but the truth is that the model is broke. If Celtic is really a club for all, then let it be the one that stands up for all the fans in the Scottish game and brings the game back to those that really matter. Starting with these issues right now.



    Kind regards,




    Fans Without Scarves

  3. From @johnjames



    LNS – Predictable or Predetermined?



    My detailed research into the malfeasance at the heart of Scottish football, presented in an A-Z format, will in this piece consider the letter ‘N’ in regard to the chairman, viz William Nimmo Smith, of the following:



    Commission appointed by Resolution of the Board of Directors of The Scottish Premier League Limited dated 1 August 2012 in relation to RFC 2012 Plc (now in liquidation) and Rangers Football Club.



    This commission often referred to as LNS, with the chairman referred to in its findings as ‘The RT Hon Lord’ was not in any way a legal determination. William Nimmo Smith (NS) is a retired Lord Ordinary who had previously been hired by the SFA on a number of occasions to confer faux gravitas to its disciplinary panels. He is a reliable gun for hire. He knew what was required of him and he arrived at a predictable outcome. He was aided and abetted by two men who had taken silk, Nicholas Stewart QC and Charles Flint QC, who joined NS, Stewart Regan, Niall Lothian and Bob Downes in three days of sifting through documents and hearing evidence. A further two days were provisionally allocated which I contend were used by NS to write their findings and gain the acceptance of his erstwhile colleagues, prior to same being sent to Rod McKenzie at Harper McLeod LLP. The latter was acting on behalf of the SPL and was a central figure during the three days of deliberations.



    Colour me surprised but in the published findings only NS and the QC’s are credited, with no mention of Regan, Lothian or Downes who as members of the so-called Independent Panel were party to the preliminary hearing which established the remit and scope and present during all deliberations and the oral testimony of Campbell Ogilvie.



    The President of the SFA presented mendacious testimony to a panel which included his colleague at the SFA, Chief Executive, Stewart Regan.



    The following is a letter from George Turner to Campbell Ogilvie:



    Dear Mr Ogilvie,




    I write for a website, The Offshore Game, a project of the Tax Justice Network dedicated to investigating the role of offshore finance in football.


    We will soon be publishing an article which details your involvement in setting up the Rangers Employee Benefit Trust, and I wanted to give you the opportunity to respond to our findings before publication.




    At the Lord Nimmo Smith inquiry you were the only person to give evidence in person on the introduction and administration of the Rangers Employee Benefits Trust. Two others gave written evidence. (JJ: Douglas Odam and Andrew Dickson)


    Before the inquiry and in subsequent public statements you claimed not to know any details of how the trusts operated. You said that you had only been made aware of the existence of the employee benefits trust in 2001 or 2002 when a payment was made to you though the trust.




    You understood the payment to be non contractual and only after that discovered that the trust was also making payments to players. The inquiry documents quote you as saying:




    “Nothing to do with the contributions being made to the Trust fell within the scope of my remit at Rangers”.




    However, in a letter dated 3 September 1999 which was signed by you on behalf of the club, Rangers took control of an Isle of Man company called Montreal Limited. The company was managed by the Jersey branch of the Allied Irish Bank. We are in possession of the letter.




    The letter makes it clear that the purpose of the company is to provide remuneration to a valued employee of Rangers Football Club.


    On September 16th the Board of Directors of Rangers Football Club met. The minutes of this meeting, also in our possession, show that the only item of business discussed was “remuneration planning for the company’s employees”.



    The minutes noted that you had taken control of Montreal Limited on behalf of the club and the three board members present (including you) then resolved to give ownership of Montreal Limited to Craig Moore. The transfer of the ‘keys to the moneybox’ was the most important transaction in the Discounted Options EBT scheme being run by Rangers.




    Given that your signature is on the letter setting up Montreal, it would seem that you did in fact know about the trust and that it was being used to pay players before 2001.




    In addition, the same DOS scheme was used to pay Tore Andre Flo and Ronald de Boer. In those cases the Rangers later accepted that the payments were unlawful and gave rise to a tax liability due to the existence of the side letters.




    In the light of this I would appreciate it of you could respond to the following questions: Do you dispute the account of the facts as stated above?


    Why did you tell the inquiry that “Nothing to do with the contributions being made to the Trust fell within the scope of my remit at Rangers”?


    In the light of our findings, can you provide a statement clarifying your role in the setting up of the Rangers EBT and Discounted Options Scheme?



    Mr Ogilvie did not respond to this letter. Mr Ogilvie, the President of the SFA, was called as a witness for the SPL.



    This commission was a stitch up between the SFA and the SPL. It is evident that the Five Way Agreement was disclosed to the Independent Panel as ‘Rangers FC’ the invented perennial association football club, with no legal personality, is deemed as being owned and operated by an Oldco and a Newco. Mr McKenzie of Harper McLeod apparently wrote to Rangers FC requesting information. Did he write to them c/o BDO the liquidators of the renamed PLC and c/o The Rangers Football Club Limited?



    If McKenzie remitted letters to an entity that he constructed in the Five Way Agreement, those letters would make interesting reading.



    NS and his two QC’s concluded that as the fine of £250,000 pertained to Oldco it would be unlikely to be recoverable. Mr Doncaster had other ideas. He declared that Charles Green’s new club was in fact Rangers and would have to pay the fine. This was how he briefed the press. He excluded the details of the ephemeral club and how TRFCL as per the 5WA were responsible.



    TRFCL appealed Neil Doncaster’s decision to Stewart Regan’s SFA. Mr Regan aided and abetted by other undisclosed hired guns, upheld Doncaster’s decision.



    Doncaster then deducted the fine, and all costs, including those incurred in the appeal to the SFA, from payments due to TRFCL.



    Sandy Bryson the head of the SFA’s Registration department provided a written statement to the Independent Panel that once players were registered they were eligible to play. This was accepted without question. As they were deemed to be eligible there would be no football sanctions, no 0-3 reverses, no stripping of titles. It was discovered that the SPL at that time did not have the authority to impose these sanctions. The SFA however did, hence Regan’s subsequent decision to reject a request for an enquiry by the SPFL board. I will deal with the board’s reaction to the peppercorn fine in my next piece.



    Given the limited scope and the mendacious oral evidence of Campbell Ogilvie, Messrs Nimmo Smith, Stewart and Flint produced a credible document. However it was inordinately flawed as it accepted the ‘hearsay’ of the First Tier Tribunal. It also excluded any discussion of the unlawful DOS/VSS scheme. George Turner wrote to James Mure who presented evidence for ‘Oldco’ and ‘Newco’ the main thrust of which is:



    As you may well recall, the inquiry imposed a financial penalty on Rangers for breaking SFA rules, but did not take the course open to them and impose a sporting penalty. In short the commission decided to fine Rangers pounds not points and Rangers kept their titles. The rationale for this was that the tax avoidance scheme entered into by Rangers was lawful as was the finding of the Tax Tribunal in the “Big Tax Case” at the time. However the commission appears to have missed an important detail. The payments made by the Rangers EBT took two forms, there was the scheme that was the subject of the Big Tax Case, but there was also another “Discounted Options Scheme” which was used to pay several Rangers players. In this scheme, dubbed the “wee tax case” Rangers had accepted a tax liability as the scheme was considered to be unlawful. The commission however appears to have not been aware of this scheme and are explicit in their misunderstanding. The decision notice states that they were aware of a previous Rangers EBT but were not aware of any difference in how it operated and so considered both as being the same. The reason why I am contacting you is I am trying to understand how this misunderstanding might have occurred. Rangers Oldco must have been acutely aware of the difference in the DOS scheme and the main EBT, the failure to pay the tax liability arising from the DOS scheme was one of the main drivers of the company’s liquidation. My question is whether you were aware of the difference and if not why not? Afterall, the entire inquiry rested on how the payments were being made though the trust. To a layperson it would seem that the difference in EBT payments would have been a crucial piece of information Rangers would have had to furnish you with. If you were aware of the differences, surely as a barrister your duty to the court comes first, and if the commission was being led to a conclusion based on a clear error of fact, did you not have an obligation to alert the judges to that error?



    Mr Turner makes a number of good points, despite his reference to judges and court. Mr Mure reverted to client confidentiality as his premise for not responding to Mr Turner’s detailed questions.



    Mr Regan as a leading member of the Independent Panel was undoubtedly acutely aware of the differences. There are some who have interpreted the findings of this commission as proof that the Rangers of 1873, incorporated in 1899, survived liquidation, as opposed to the reality that these findings are predicated on the fallacious Five Way Agreement.



    It was instructive that David Longmuir of the SFL, suitably buoyed by the commission’s finding, stated that he would prevail against any attempts to strip titles from the former club. His odious role as a gatekeeper was brought to an end a few months later with a significant pay-off when the SPFL was created with Neil Doncaster at the helm.



    A cynic might conclude that the findings of the Independent Panel were not just predictable but predetermined.

  4. It’s a terrific letter from Fans Without Scarves but I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for a meaningful response from Celtic. They have never demonstrated up until now any hunger to right the wrongs around Hampden. Apart from the Farry scandal.

  5. A great day yesterday up at Ravenscraig Sports Centre yesterday when Motherwell’s Notre Dame CSC played Muirhouse’s Kieran Tierney CSC in a charity game for local suicide awareness charity Chris’s House. It’s a charity close to the hearts of many after the spate of suicides in the local area, particularly from young men.


    The game was followed by a charity night in the Bullfrog pub and raised over £4k for Chris’s House.


    On the park Notre Dame CSC were victorious with a comfortable 4-2 win despite KT CSC drafting in a ringer in Joe Miller. Well done to all involved. I must say the old legs are in recovery mode today!

  6. Pitymevin



    Friendliest pub in Ballater


    We visit the Barrel regularly when staying in the (excellent) caravan site.


    It is the friendliest pub you could hope to find


    Food is excellent, staff are chatty and pleasant, ambience is superb. Neil the landlord monitors customers language!


    Love visiting



    yours trip advisor CSC

  7. The Gazza story made the main BBC news but will it get a mention on Reporting Scotland?



    ‘Former Rangers player….. etc ‘ Let’s see.

  8. Have a feeling that the many authorities involved will ignore the letters from us asking about the shenannigans at Ibrox and SFA before and after the death of a club called Rangers which seems to have miraculously never died.

  9. prestonpans bhoys on

    So Sky have got exclusive rights to the league from 2020. There’s absolutely no danger of me giving them one penny

  10. Preston pans Bhoys me too, Would like to see Celtic Ban them from broadcasting , inside Celtic Park,but money talks especially Lawell and co.

  11. Premier Sports also get Bet Fred League Cup from 2020,absolute joke, no wonder folk chasing illegal streams,rather than pay more subscriptions

  12. Who is Fanswithoutscarves ?



    Can they show us the letter they have sent to their own clubs ? They do state only one of the four founders is a Celtic fan.


    So what resolutions have they raised with their clubs to challenge FtSFA and force a review


    Did any of their clubs support, fans or board, back Celtics call for a full review of FtSFA last year

  13. Bada


    Do you think any of the Scottish clubs will get £10m per game to be shown as per EPL


    Or even £3m as per EPL2


    Sky not for me, will not be getting it


    Premier sports, even less chance, of me putting a penny towards FtSPL & FtSFA, or other clubs

  14. Norrie- Premier Sports is Setanta Sports with a different hat on,who left every club scratching their ar$# a few years ago.

  15. So SKY will be showing the SPFL from 2020. Not to me they won’t. They have obviously decided to pander the Govan pound. Well, they won’t see any of mine. Would love to see Celtic ban them.

  16. Norriem






    The principles at stake affect supporters of every club in Scottish football.



    One of the problems Res 12 has had is widening the aim of SFA reform beyond the Celtic support.



    I have no problem whatsoever getting help from supporters of other clubs for the benefit of all, indeed I welcome it as a counter to the smsm spin that it is a Celtic Rangers issue which prevents SFA having to look at their part in events which is questionable on a number of levels.

  17. been going to watch my team since 1965, when I was 12 years old ,always told sorry timmy you go to the back of the bus ,now im 65 years old nothings changed, wont give a penny farthing to them, time to roll up or shut up.hh.

  18. Norrie M, you make a good point there. However (you know there will be a however…), regardless of what other clubs have done or not, it is still a pertinent issue that Celtic as the foremost club in Scotland – and the club most affected – should be taking this forward and demonstrating decisive leadership. I wish I had confidence that is happening, or will happen any time soon. Hope things are settling down on the home front. HH

  19. Thanks for the heads up Billy bear!!! Dick


    Bournsoup, as well you know the reception up here is murder. But thanks anyway


    Big chap, you take that back.

  20. Canamalar it looks like OCD obsession on



    while its open to other clubs support to question their own boards, Res12 is an issue raised by Celtic shareholders and only the Celtic Plc can address it. The lack of support from other clubs as raised by our Plc is a red herring, I’m not interested in what other clubs are doing Res12 is none of their business as far as I’m concerned, they do not give a monkeys about my share value or its potential, the Celtic Plc must.

  21. Are you still going on about this ? FFS


    I told you at the time Celtic should have bought them and set it up as a car park for the airport. One team in Glasgow and the hun kids would learn to love us.

  22. Canamalar it looks like OCD obsession on

    Aye am still going on about it, hornswaggled we wiz, folks round here don’t take too kindle to being hornswaggled

  23. That’s how a real buisness works. Eat your nearest competitors and prosper with the help of old customers.


    It’s called building an empire and why they wanted us dead in the 80s.



    Does anyone really think they had another plan?

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