Time for an EBT mea culpa from Scotland manager


Alex McLeish is busy preparing for his first game as Scotland manager this weekend.  It is a gig he will be delighted to have, now that he has confirmation HM Revenue & Customs are on his case for tax due when Rangers paid him through an Employee Benefit Trust (EBT).

The reach of the Rangers’ EBT recipients runs deep in Scottish football.  The Scotland manager is employed by people who were promoted during an EBT recipient’s presidency, who refused the SPFL’s request for a review into the EBT scandal.  And, his performance will be reviewed by EBT recipients now working in the media.

There are others active in the SFA and the media who had nothing to do with EBTs, but many of these people have been friends for over 20 years.  They will not be so indiscrete as to embarrass a friend by suggesting their actions brought our game into disrepute.

The consequence for Rangers were absolute.  The consequence for the recipients will vary from an inconvenience, to financial ruin, but we have had no candour from any of them, no mea culpa.  I have no axe to grind with McLeish, and I prefer some recipients who work in the media to several former Celtic players, but blindly ignoring their role in the biggest story in Scottish football in half a century discredits us all.

Alex, you are Scotland manager, sit down with a journalist you respect and tell him how wrong this sorry business was.

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  1. Paul



    Can’t see that happening. The only way it will is if they all start turning on each other . Can’t see that happening either.

  2. This article got me thinking Re the EBT recipients working for the BBC…. We’ve just received a reminder out TV licence is due….if I pay it (again) I am in effect paying these EBTers for working for the BBC…… I’m sure some time ago on CQN there some of our more wiser contributors drafted a reply to the Beeb justifying non payment…. Does anyone remember? or can advise a suitable reply or suggest how I can stop paying the licence fee…..

  3. I certainly have an issue with EBT recipients. It is not acceptable for any person in whatever capacity to cheat via illegal and undeclared payments to gain undoubted sporting advantage, to the complete detriment of integrity and fair competition. It is endemic corruption, and needs to be called out, not condoned in any way. HH

  4. The hands cant hit what the eyes cant see on

    @ SPIDEY101 on 6TH SEPTEMBER 2018 8:59 AM (from previous article)



    I agree that it would be interesting to see what our first team wage bill is. I don’t believe there is a breakdown in the accounts. We have expenditure of circa £52m on wages and salaries paid to on average 752 employees and staff.



    I would agree that we would probably be at the bottom end of the top 10 in Italy on wage budget which is not too bad.

  5. As someone posted a few days ago all Mc shagger has to say to Eck is get me off……..or else rule me out of scotia friendlies …eezy peezy

  6. Dubaibhoy-Ur they still deid? on




    Not sure what you were up to, but I seem to recall Big Eck going off to South America on a meaningless tour and getting a couple of gubbings.

  7. Wage Bills.



    Figures quoted for Italy are What the player received after tax deductions in a particular tax Year..The Clubs pay the tax.When the documentation states that eg-Perisic (Inter ) received 3 million euros -that means He got 3 million euros tax paid.



    This article got me thinking Re the EBT recipients working for the BBC…. We’ve just received a reminder out TV licence is due….if I pay it (again) I am in effect paying these EBTers for working for the BBC…… I’m sure some time ago on CQN there some of our more wiser contributors drafted a reply to the Beeb justifying non payment…. Does anyone remember? or can advise a suitable reply or suggest how I can stop paying the licence fee…..






    smiley just for you thing




  9. The hands cant hit what the eyes cant see on

    @ SOUTH OF TUNIS on 6TH SEPTEMBER 2018 12:56 PM



    The figures quoted for individuals are net figures but that does not change the figures for the clubs’ wage bills.

  10. Back in 2010 when there was a video review panel that first depended on the match referee having first look at his own mistake, ol Walter was none to happy with what he saw as a flawed system.



    It kind of begs the question is the system ok as long as it produces a result that suits the Ibrox mob?






    The system is an improvement but the wriggle room that the rules provide on excessive force will be used by a club representative of a mindset all too ready to use any ambiguity in the rules to their advantage all the way to the Supreme Court or CAS if necessary.



    I call them the Pharisees. All too ready to use words in the law to their advantage but ignoring the spirit behind it.



    Hence the term “woe to the Pharisses” and they are getting it in spades.



    Hell mend them.

  11. The Blogger Formerly Known As GM on

    ‘Corrupt organisation employs tainted individual’. Quelle suprise, the two were made for each other. He needed the gig and the SFA duly obliged.



    What gets me more is BBC Sportsound using money from the tax payer (you and me) to employ peolple known to have swindled the tax payer (you and me)!



    Former Rangers employees are effectively taking money from the tax payer in one hand and giving it back with the other.



    As I’ve said before, they have to be one of the most unaccountable publicly funded organisations in the country.

  12. Silver City 1888 on

    Paul, take it easy on the old duffer. He’s the only man with any connection to the SFA or either Rangers who has admitted EBTs gave them a sporting advantage….. and did you see the look on his face when he realised that he had?

  13. glendalystonsils on

    I DO have an axe to grind with McLeish and with those who put him in the job. They are the decay at the heart of Scottish football . I watched a European Nations preview programme on Sky the other night ,and what came across clearly is that Eck is a ‘Rangers’ man first and a Scotland man a distant second. If Stevie G got sacked , Mcleish would dump Scotland in a second to get back to Ibrox.


    As for the EBT’ers , they just circle the wagons knowing they have the SMSM behind them. In fact , it wouldn’t surprise me to find that some of them had been ‘benefitting’ over the years.

  14. I feel that the recipients of the EBT should have spoken out and voluntarily returned the evaded tax. As Jimmy Carr. They are less guilty in my eyes



    However, the Architects of the scheme are guilty of a much greater crime. All the Rangers Directors during this period and also staff should be hammered.



    David Beckham and Rooney have been denied Honours due to their dubious Tax arrangements but David Murray hangs on to his knighthood and not a question raised. This is wrong.



    Campbell Ogilvie held onto his job and other Architects have had no action taken. They are hiding behind the dead club Liquidation at the same time of pretending it didn’t happen.



    McLeish should not be employed by the SFA and BBC should follow HMRC lead and not employ tax cheats and to ensure that that they don’t take public money while under HMRC investigation.



    BBC Scotland Tv & Radio pundits have a majority of ex Rangers players in their number, most of which were EBT recipiants

  15. mullet and co 2 on

    I remember seeing McLeish and Miller come to watch us in a European game while they both played for Aberdeen. Might have been around about 88 or 89.


    Always found that a bit of a hint that McLeish wasn’t really a Rangers man.


    I would have no issue if the club that used EBTs paid their former employees liabilities. Insert smiley face.

  16. Oh for the old days when the accounts came out in August.


    No matter the timing they should make interesting reading.



    Just how much cash do we have on hand at the bank and how did it help us in CL qualification campaign?


    At least the EuL fetishists will have their wish this season — interesting to see how it all pans out.



    Read the CU account of the recent transfer window — the real story not the CQN fairy story.


    HB provided chapter and verse regarding PL and his high cost failure across the ages.


    As he noted dryly — we do pay EPL wages but only to CEOs.


    Sore one but very true.



    However even amongst all the damming evidence that flows out of any reasonable assessment of the past 2 months he was very happy to put the boot into BR and his public viewpoints without trying to rationalise why the situation had developed.



    Jan 2018:


    We wanted an experienced CB — who drew up a list that had MC at the top of it?


    We had space for a project CB — SA guy was in the frame previously but his health counted against him.


    Who else would have been a realistic target — SMcK before he attained sainthood?


    We wanted another GK — Sorted.


    We wanted some skill and guile — Happy to wait for LM to get on the park however we should have handled his injury better. It should not have come as a shock.


    We wanted some big name / high wage skill and guile on loan — Looks to have been the longer term replacement for PR or possibly competition for TR but no matter it did not work out.



    Hopefully we have learned from this — consequently what are the targets for next January?



    CB1: DB alternative — if he kicks on as I think he will then ad £20K to his weekly wage.


    CB2: JS alternative — long way back for him.


    CB3: FB replacement — or we find £13mill and buy him from LC?


    RB: Need to make a move ASAP.


    LB: Proper understudy required.


    DM: A real, proper DM in the mould of VW. NB might have something to say about this.


    CF1: Loan / punt / project to fill the OE sized gap that i]opened up when he moved up.


    CF2: SPL bully required in case LG doesn’t pass his “Offside — Theory and Practical” test that he fails every second Saturday.

  17. GM @ 1.19



    Interesting news on the honours system front — tax fun and games and you weren’t put forward for a gong. Not just the illegal but also sailing close to the wind an going against the spirit of the tax system.



    Would the BBC ever use such criteria to pick and chose their presenters?


    Unfortunately BBC S/Bread would be a ghost town if the rule was enforced.

  18. THE HANDS.



    Yes .Perisic gets 3 million euros net -which costs Inter @5.8 million euros..How Much would it cost Celtic to give Perisic 3 million euros net a Year. ?

  19. The Blogger Formerly Known As GM on

    To clarify, private organisations subject to market forces can say what they like, employ whom they like and push any agenda/narrative they like. Ultimately the laws of supply and demand will determine their fate: if you or I do not like their product we will take our custom elswhere.



    The BBC is a different story. You and I have little choice but to fund them. That is why they should be held to a higher standard and be accountable for their actions.

  20. Paul67



    Bad though the ebt period was, the subsequent attempts by the SFA, SPL/SPFL and Scottish media to portay it as anything but the complete betrayal of Scottish football as a sport that it was, will forever linger like a slow poison that erupts every time the Ibrox entity circumvent the rules.



    They cheated on a massive scale verging on if not actually criminal for a decade and supporters who paid good money to be cheated are being asked to carry on as if it never happened with the same mindset that thinks it’s ok to cheat still at large.



    I appreciate Celtic have made efforts to get other clubs behind a review but has anyone thought through the consequences of their refusal?



    What Celtic are saying is the past must be examined to ensure it does not become the future. This suggests Celtic have no faith in the present governance arrangements, but if other clubs via SFA continue to refuse the request, many of whom are not in the top tier, then do Celtic not have a duty to tell their supporters why they have no faith in current governance and present the evidence to their supporters (and those of other clubs) and let them decide if they want to buy tickets to watch a game ?



    Our game needs cleansing or it will die of self administered slow poison.



    If working in the background and relying on SFA due process that have produced results that are highly questionable or allow for “doctoring” of the terms of reference or exclusion of significant events has not worked, why are Celtic allowing themselves to be bound by such processes?



    It is now time for Celtic to pull all the support behind them from recognised organisations like the CSA (who have been supportive of Res12) the CST, the Affiliation and recognised bloggers of all shades, to go to battle with the vested interests in public.



    How can not doing that be in Celtic’s long term interests? I’ll go further, not doing it will damage Celtic more than the club who have cheated for years, not a legacy the current Board will want to leave behind.

  21. SOT



    Make that 5,550,000 gross after tax at 46% = approx 3,000,000



    Now I’m loggin’ off as brain hurtin’!

  22. mullet and co 2 on

    If we have a squad of 33 players and a total outlay to them of say £45m they are earning on average £13.6k per week.



    The total wage bill in the accounts includes all employees. That was £52m. So Rodgers and the coaching staff as well as Lawwell and the suits.

  23. SOT @ 1.54



    Depending on the exact exchange rate — today the GBP is pretty weak.


    EUR60K pw net in Italy = £100K pw gross in Scotland.



    On top of that you would have to pay Employers NI at 12%’ish.


    But have to pay that on our full PAYE wage bill.



    I look forward to the day we pay £100K pw.


    As long as we are getting VFM and results on the park then no issue.



    Not sure how the Italian wage is split up into basic and bonuses?

  24. The hands cant hit what the eyes cant see on

    @ SOUTH OF TUNIS on 6TH SEPTEMBER 2018 1:54 PM



    Sorry if I’m misunderstanding here, but the wage bill for each Serie A club appears to be the cumulative figure of each salary paid to first team players (gross). It is then broken down into net earnings for certain high profile players. The fact that Perisic is paid €4m net is therefore already built into the wage bills.



    The consideration isn’t whether we could pay Perisic or any player’s wages on that list; it is listing the top 20 earners in Serie A- of course we couldn’t. The consideration is where our wage bill would fall on the list and, from a guess, it would be at the bottom half of the top 10.



    This leads to the conclusion that we can compete on wages (notwithstanding other factors) better than some may suggest. Especially as this list is a consideration of Serie A (one of the big 4 leagues). How would we compare in the French, Portuguese and Dutch league? Nevermind, compared to the Eastern European and Scandinavian leagues?

  25. The HANDS .



    Oopla !



    Input Error re How Much it would cost Inter to give Perisic 3 million net.I should have typed @4.5 million euros.-(tax /insurance etc.)

  26. mullet and co 2 on

    There are enough saleable players on an individual basis to maintain wages at a higher level. Smaller investments on an Ntcham level of £4.5m and sell your Dembeles etc.


    Trimming the 33 man squad to 28 would shift some of the chaff and a large percentage of the wage bill.


    Forget the EPL.



    What are the average turnovers of clubs in Germany, France, Spain and Italy?


    If our turnover is maintained at £100m we have a fighting chance of getting players from these clubs or from the clubs they buy from.

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