Die on our feet, or live on our knees?

Without us Scottish football dies, maybe not straight away but not in the dim and distant future either. The SPL document released yesterday makes it very clear that we are not the only ones who see this.

Rangers fans will not flock in any great numbers to the grounds of those who chose to destroy us, a few will doubtless swim in against the tide but the overwhelming majority will not. It’s unlikely that our sons will either, possibly if Scottish football can hang on for that length of time then the numbers will gradually start to increase with the following generation.

The filth will be in the best position to withstand the financial drain of an uncompetitive league and reduced attendances even so they will be hit hardest. In an attempt to minimise their losses the other clubs will dramatically increase the price of admission to their grounds whenever the tarriers come to town.

Their own attendances will drop as a procession to each subsequent title becomes ever less appealing to watch and harder to justify the expensive of to wives and partners. Television and sponsorship was hardly aplenty when Scottish football was a two horse race, only a fool would suspect the situation will improve in a competition with only one winner. The standard of player they can attract diminishes too, what level of player wishes to test himself in a cakewalk? Money from Europe will be even harder to come by as the co-efficient drops and the vicious circle starts to complete itself. Add to that the nuclear option of a 50/50 split in gate receipts, whatever assurances they have received or manipulated from the other clubs that their veto won’t be taken from them the situation will change when the other clubs are in danger of going under.

Then there’s the remaining clubs, how many times a season can they fill their stadiums now? How long will the feel good factor of having slain their “evil giant” last? Who will rise to become the 2nd force in Scottish football? Hearts? Hibs? Aberdeen? Dundee Utd? Without their full 4 houses a season these teams have demonstrated that the financial impact forces them into a downward spiral and that recovery takes them a significant amount of time.

They expect us to take undocumented, unjust and vindictive punishments for crimes we haven’t even been found guilty of yet and at the same time continue to contribute to their financial survival.

The damage is perhaps already done and Scottish football may never fully recover whatever the eventual outcome.

I have not spoken to one fan who feels we should get scot free for what has happened, we haven’t.

We have taken the hit for administration.

Liquidation of the Old Co. see’s us unable to compete in Europe for 3 seasons

And everyone I know agrees that football debts should still be paid in full by the New Co.

What more can be rightly expected of us? In my opinion nothing, any additional punishment is simply unacceptable for me. I have much the same feelings towards the fans of the other clubs in the SPL as they have towards us, that is only the nature of the beast. Is it really a shock that Rangers fans detest the others to same extent that they detest us or vice versa?

If Rangers knuckle under and accept this proposal (whoever may be in charge come Wednesday) then they will quite simply no longer be the Rangers I know and love. I know that is a personal opinion and is not shared by all those who post on here let alone the Rangers support as a whole.

I would rather see us die on our feet than live on our knees, we should (in my opinion) under no circumstances even be considering these proposals. SPL with no further penalties until such times as any wrong doing is proven or reapply to the SFL and start at the bottom and work our way back up.
Our fan base alone ensures that we shall survive that climb in some shape or form, what would remain to greet us on our return though would I imagine look very different to the landscape we will leave behind.

I have no consideration for the “greater good” of Scottish football, at least no greater consideration than the rest of Scottish football has for us. If they can’t survive without our involvement, fine we’ll play in the SPL but we won’t be begging you for the privilege, if they think they can, then fine we’ll see what’s left of you in 4yrs time.

Calm Down, Stop Panicking & Read – All about SFA Membership & Sanctions

Ok, so everyone is starting to panic about the sanctions the SFA want to place on us in return for SFA membership. There appear to be 3 major threats to membership and we all need to understand these before we start to scream about them, I’ll explain why.

1. Payment of any outstanding fines

This is the easy one, we may not like it, but this is the one sanction we WILL have to agree to. Fines for rule breaks are deemed as sporting punishments, not debts, therefore we will be liable for the £160k in fines that was imposed by the SFA for the disrepute charge in relation to the non-payment of PAYE/NIC by Whyte. We might not agree with it, but unfortunately they are the rules and as part of our continuing membership of the SFA we have to abide by it.

2. Payment of Footballing Debts

This is where it becomes difficult, if by footballing debts, the SFA are referring to any transfer fees & ticket monies owed to other clubs and/or wages owed to players due to deferment during Administration, there is a case to argue.

Quite simply, in Scotland, there is NO Football Creditors law.

I don’t know how many times I need to explain this, but in Scotland, unlike England & Wales, there is no law that allows for all Football Creditors to be paid in FULL and BEFORE even SECURED creditors. This means that any attempt by the SFA/SPL to make Rangers pay any outstanding fees/ticket money/wages is ILLEGAL

Under Scottish law, these creditors are and must bebtreated exactly the same way as any other unsecured creditor. This means that any attempt to settle these debts in full, would be illegal. This would also make any directors of the new company liable for a contempt of court charge, for being in breach of a winding up order. It could also make the new company liable in full for the debts of the old company, and create a second admin/liquidation scenario.

Legally, this cannot be enforced by the SFA, they would be effectively forcing the directors to break the law in return for continuation of membership.

3. The Waving Of A Right To A Legal Challenge

Yes, this can be done, but usually only because a company is trying to prevent an employee from continuing legal action after they have already accepted some kind of incentive to bring an existing issue to a conclusion that is suitable for all parties (usually the payment of some form of compensation).

However, if and this is the big if, that agreement in itself would be illegal (in this case, the preferential treatment of some creditors regardless of insolvency laws) that would also invalidate said agreement waiving the rights of legal challenge for the affected parties.

In short, the SFA cannot force te club to do something that is ILLEGAL, and then prevent them from taking legal action to challenge this.

As a result of this, it is likely that they will attempt to go after other means, in an attempt to deliver “justice”

Just remember we currently hold all the Aces, it may not seem like it, but the SPL document that was delivered to all SFL clubs proves the importance of having Rangers in the Scottish game to ensure its survival.

To paraphrase a couple of points:

“Rangers in Division One, this would result in a loss of around 30% of revenue, a large amount, however this would result in a position from which it IS possible to financially recover from”

“Rangers in Division Three, this would strip the game of approx £16million per year, result in the withdrawal of sponsors and create massive financial problems for all clubs, some that would be unacceptable”

“Finally, the termination/suspension of Rangers membership would cause TOTAL FINANCIAL MELTDOWN in the Scottish game, yes the game would survive, but at what cost and in what form? This CANNOT be allowed to happen”

Unbelievably, we are the ones with power, we just need to use it wisely, if they insist on “punishing” us too severely, well we just insist on Division Three, they have to let us in, in their own words, we CANNOT be allowed to disappear from Scottish football entirely, have faith fellow bears, the stakes in this poker game have just got a helluva lot higher, we have the power to save or destroy Scottish football in its entirety in our hands.

Nookie Bear

Enough of the Infighting – It’s time to unite as one.

Despite the last few days becoming a prelude to what could be our great clubs final hour, there are still those amongst the support who would rather fight with each other, than look at the bigger picture and realise the damage that is being done from within.

There is a great statement my late mum used to tell me all the time:

“With friends like those, you don’t need enemies!

and do you know what, right now it’s never been more true.

Honestly, I don’t care who thinks what about Mark, The RST, The Assembly, The RFFF, whoever, right now it’s irrelevant!

WE HAVE TO UNITE AS ONE

Personally, I don’t know John Brown, all I do know is that he has always told it how it is, and worn his heart on his sleeve when it comes to our club. Should we trust him, there’s no time for if’s, buts or maybes, we quite simply have to!

For months you have screamed that we need a leader to unite behind, we now have one, you may not like him, but he’s all we’ve got, and he needs our support so it’s time to give him it.

For those of you phrophets of doom out there, claiming its all over, there’s nothing we can do, we’re doomed!

Let me remind you all of this:

Back in ’94 we all thought the mhanks were finished, the board wouldn’t sell, the bank had a winding up order, they were done, finished, no more!

But they mobilised, in numbers, they used the press, they united and in the end the rhebels won, with only hours to spare, they wheeled out the bunnet and all was saved, (no-one had heard of him either, before that point) and they began their rebuilding, albeit into a vicious rhat infested, disease ridden monstrosity it is now.

So I ask you all, do we want to be remembered for fighting with each other as our club went down, or do we decide to work together, support one another, and unite behind bomber, so that we too can change our destiny and control the future of this great institution.

If they can do it, so can we, I’ve never been beaten by a tim at anything and I don’t intend to start now, they had to rebuild, so do we, but together we will be stronger, we will be more successful, and we will drive this club to even more success in the future.

There is no more time for arguing, no more time for excuses, only actions, Rangers are in our blood, we are born, not chosen, now get out there and prove the doubters wrong, show them just why we are the worlds most successful club, and above all save our club!

NO SURRENDER

Nookie Bear

The SPL’s final throw of the dice

Finally the penny is beginning to drop with the powers that be in Hampden, they are slowly starting to realise that not only are they risking losing their biggest revenue generating club from the SPL, but thanks to the orchestrated campaign bring waged in the mhedia, by other fans and by people who generally know nothing, they may actually lose Rangers for good

How can this be?

Well thanks to all the nonsense regarding Rangers having to be punished and it’s necessary to maintain the “Sporting Integrity” of the Scottish game, people are starting to believe it. As a result, many fans who don’t even understand the changes to the offside rule, never mind the financial implications of Rangers not being part of Scottish football, never mind the SPL are calling for them to be refused entry to the leagues.

There has been such a frenzy whipped up over the last few weeks that means most people now have an opinion on the subject and are screaming that the fans must be consulted, they must have their say, thus forcing Chairmen into a very difficult decision, a lose/lose situation.

“Keep Rangers in, lose the fans, run the risk of the club going under or Ditch Rangers, keep the fans and run the higher risk of the club going under.”

It’s got so bad even SFL clubs, Non-League Clubs and juniors are beginning to scream that it shouldn’t be allowed!

Does this mean the Fat Lady is Warming Up?

No, not quite and its not a situation I’d like to be in, but there is a glimmer of hope for these Chairmen yet, and it came from an unlikely source in a Sports Law Specialist.

The Bell is now Tolling on the death of not only Rangers but the whole of Scottish Football, that is, until yesterday, when David Roberts gave them the excuse they needed.

Yesterday, David Roberts explained how SPL club Chairmen and Directors could be sued for, and found guilty of failing to protect the statutory interests of their Clubs and Shareholders, if they failed to maximise the potential income for their clubs. Now his argument is that basically, without Rangers in the SPL, then the clubs will make less money, therefore by refusing them entry to the top flight they had failed in said Statutory Duties.

In simple terms, if they refuse Rangers entry to the SPL, there is NO GUARANTEE that the SFL would vote to allow them entry, therefore they could effectively consign Scottish football to Oblivion, finishing it off for good.

How can this be avoided?

Currently there is no mechanism for automatic relegation between the SPL and the SFL, just a gentlemans agreement where the SFL can nominate a team for inclusion to the SPL at the end of each season (usually the Division One Champions) who would replace the team nominated by the SPL to enter the SFL (usually the team who finish bottom of the SPL) that is it. Effectively the SPL is a private members club, whose entry policy is one of invite only, rather than obligation.

So in order to keep Rangers within the Scottish League setup without a vote the SPL need to do 3 simple things, yes it will be seen as a stitch up, but thats the beauty of the SPL being a private members club, they CAN make the rules up as they go along!

These 3 Changes Explained

1. The SPL have to change the rules around newco entry

Simply put, the SPL clubs need to change the rules (effective immediately) to stipulate that the ultimate sanction for bringing the SPL into disrepute is demotion to SFL Division One.

2. The SPL clubs need to vote Rangers back into the SPL

Once Rangers are in the SPL they are immediately back within the Scottish League setup, and are now subject to SPL rules, including the most recent change above.

3. The SPL must then charge Rangers with bringing the SPL into disrepute

This is quite self explanatory, the SPL then charge Rangers for bringing the game into disrepute for using the newco route as a vehicle for shedding an embarrassing amount of debt.

After said Kangaroo Court, Rangers are found guilty and are nominated to replace Ross County in SFL Division One, with demotion being seen as their punishment, therefore under said gentleman’s agreement the SFL must accept them to allow Ross County promotion.

Also because Rangers will have been “punished” by the SPL for the newco situation, the club would then be free of any further sanctions being applied by the SFL.

What does this mean then?

After all this has happened you are left with the following situation:

SPL Chairman can say they completed their “Statutory Duties” to protect the finances of their clubs by re-admitting Rangers to the SPL. It’s not their fault that the SPL then applied a punishment which then removed them from the league.

Rangers are parachuted into the SFL without a vote, avoiding the risk of them not being granted membership. Also it allows for Divisions Two & Three to be bypassed, all in the name of “Sporting Integrity” you understand.

The SKY deal has damage limitation applied to it, and Rangers have a chance to retain some players and rebuild quicker.

Is any of this Right, Fair or Protecting ” Sporting Integrity”

In a word? NO!

But unfortunately in the current climate it is the most likely outcome in all of this sorry situation. The SPL clubs can claim Rangers have been “severely punished” despite the current rules on insolvency showing they already have been punished to the full extent allowed by them, and them some because of the additional regulations surrounding the creation of a newco.

So don’t be surprised by any of this happening, it’s pretty clear that deals have been done and things are already happening, personally I think it’s self preservation by the other clubs while trying to appease their fans by showing that the Big Bad Rangers have been punished for being naughty.

What would I do when it’s over

The first thing that I would be ensuring if I was the owner of Rangers is that the leagues were merged and that the rules should be rewritten immediately. I would want it to be put in writing that in future any, and I mean any club who has to use the newco route is automatically demoted to Division Three as punishment, no ifs, no buts, no maybes, that’s it.

Granted it won’t help our current situation, but it will mean clarity for any of our haters who “unfortunately” end up in the same situation, and will ensure that the “Sporting Integrity” that they so desperately crave is adhered to, because it will happen, and to more than you think.

Nookie Bear

Getting what you wish for.

Over the last week we have seen various clubs come out and say that they are voting against Rangers being readmitted to the SPL and giving their reasons why.

Of those reasons the number one claim is “Sporting Integrity”, because it wouldn’t be right to let big, bad Rangers back into the league, they have to be punished for being naughty! However, in reality all the clubs are doing is making an even bigger mockery of the most hypocritical phrase in Scottish football.

The real reason for these clubs voting NO is simple, refusing Rangers entry to the SPL allows them to prevent Celtic vetoing any future changes the other clubs wish to force through by negating the current 11-1 majority.

So in return for refusing The Rangers application, it allows the clubs to implement the following changes:

~ Redistribution of all monies – TV, League Positions, Sponsorship
~ 50/50 Split of all Ticket Money, including ST’s
~ League Reconstruction – Probably Expansion to 18 teams

Now these changes may sound fantastic to some supporters, “but, I mean man, we’ll be getting half the money from the Septic supporters, so we’ll be fine”, the reality may well be somewhat different.

So we start to examine the figures released by the Motherwell board surrounding the best worst case scenarios for each vote and we find out the following:

The rejection of Rangers will most likely lead to a revocation of the SKY deal, now that’s currently £15m/year with clubs outwith Rangers and Celtic getting a minimum of 600k/year with additional monies from league positions.

The Rangers fans provide an additional 300k/year in ticket sales to the club

“The greatest fans in the world…….” only provide an additional 285k/year in ticket sales.

Now seeing as Motherwell’s income for last season was £4.3m, this equates to 27.6% of total income or £1.185m

So what would they gain from the new setup they so desperately crave:

Well they would gain a 50% share of all Septics ticket sales (which I assume would go into a separate pot and be distributed equally amongst all teams)

So based on the 09/10 figures this would equate to 11.25m (16m ST’s 6.5m Gate) split between the other 11 teams or 1.022m each per year.

Now this is still a drop of 160k/year for Motherwell, “Ah, but that’s awrite we all hear them cry”

But is it? In simple terms no, that gain of 1.022m/year doesn’t yet take into account 2 major factors:

1. All the other clubs with also lose 50% of their gate money, 0.82m (or 0.67m if you exclude the RFC sales and 0.385m excluding Septic) in Motherwell’s case
2. To get the additional 1.022m/year from the Sceptic tickets, you need “The greatest fans in the world……….” to continue buy their tickets at the same levels, and as we’ve already heard from mad joe, this isn’t going to happen.

So in return there’s a potential to gain 1.4m/year plus their 50% of the others gate money, which based on Motherwell’s figures could be 0.35m/year, so a total of 1.75m/year

So they are seeing 600k/year increase in income so that plugs the 500k hole in this years finances you hear them cry.

Whereas in reality they still have to account for the additional TV revenue based on league position being lost, probably another 350k/year for Motherwell this year, and the impact of any tim ticket boycot, and should even 30% refuse to buy any tickets for the Glitterdome moving forward that would equate to another drop of 240k/year so negating the 600k/year increase they were previously shouting about.

You also have to account for any league reconstruction that they want to introduce, by increasing the number of teams in the league you then dilute your share of the Celtic money, another 2 teams reduces it by 240k/year and another 6 by 440k/year.

Now these are simple figures, but the bottom line is that these clubs will be lucky to maintain even their current reduced levels of income/expenditure even with their new found share of ticket money. Currently they are pretty much guaranteed the money from TV and Rangers/Septic ticket sales, by removing Rangers and invoking a full on ticket boycott from the dhims (who wouldn’t think of the implications for their own club) they could very quickly find themselves in financial trouble.

I would also be brave enough to suggest that the smaller clubs that can fit in more away supporters or have a bigger fanbase may not want a 50/50 split of gate money as they would see themselves as subsidising the smaller teams as well.

The next few weeks are certainly going to be interesting, but if you take the view that they’d rather see us in Division 3, (which if we have to go anywhere I’d rather) by the time we get back to the SPL, there will be limited European opportunity available to clubs, and we’ll have seen at least half the existing SPL clubs starting again in division 3.

So let them get what they so desperately crave, the impending implosion will be messy to say the least, and will probably result in a total reconstruction with “Sporting Integrity” being completely thrown out the window in a desperate attempt to rescue what will be left of the game.

Nookie Bear

A force majeure event.

So now we know that 6/11 clubs have decided that in the name of “Sporting Integrity” they will not be allowing the big bad Rangers to remain in the SPL.

There are however some problems with the logic behind these decisions and I will try to explain these and then why it could open the door for not only the SPL, but the clubs and their directors to become the subject of legal action by whoever is the custodian of Rangers Football Club.

The reason for the “Sporting Integrity” claim is that the clubs (who suddenly have decided to listen to the fans) have decided that the big bad Rangers have to be punished for breaking the rules!

So what rules have Rangers broken?

1. “Those EBT’s and the dual contracts man”

Unfortunately for these clubs, there has been nothing concluded about the use of EBT’S or dual contracts. The SPL (acting on the advice of Septics lawyers) believe they have a case to answer (in other words they want them to answer some questions and explain some things they don’t understand) but that is it.

In fact, as has been explained in another thread, it appears that HMRC seem to be of the opinion that Rangers only acted on professional advice in good faith, so are only guilty of poor financial management, not deliberate tax avoidance/evasion. Therefore as a result they intend to chase the directors/players who benefitted from said advice, because they don’t appear to see the club as culpable or liable.

Also the EBT’S were declared in the annual accounts, so weren’t hidden as is claimed, from the SFA because these accounts are filed annually with the Association after being independently audited and signed off.

Finally, any sporadic bonus that I receive from my employer is not written into my contract of employment so why should any footballers have to be either? My guaranteed bonuses through any performance related pay are documented, which I assume would be the same for players with respect to win, goal, appearance bonuses.

With respect to the EBT’S, they appear to be ad-hoc bonuses and the so called smoking gun of the side letters, only seem to explain how any such payments would be made, in the event that the player was considered eligible for them. Again this is alluded to in other threads.

In summary, nothing has been proved so far, there are no criminal charges pending and most importantly Rangers are currently not guilty of anything connected to tax avoidance/evasion as is being claimed, therefore cannot be punished as a result of this.

2. “They didn’t pay PAYE/NIC last season”

Yes, that is correct, however Rangers were found guilty by the SFA of bringing the game into disrepute as a result of this. This led to the club being punished accordingly by an SFA judicial panel, granted the punishment has yet to be confirmed as the result of legal argument, but they have already been punished for this.

So again, no further punishment can be delivered

3. “They went into administration, with loads of debt”

Again, this is correct, but once again (in accordance with SPL rules) Rangers have already been punished for this by receiving a 10 point deduction in last season league championship race, and have had prize monies withheld to cover any footballing debts to other SPL clubs, the maximum penalties available to the league.

Again, this means there can be no further punishment

4. “They were liquidated”

Again this is correct, however the liquidation is the result of the existing “Insolvency Event” and as a result Rangers have already been punished to the maximum penalties with reference to the existing “Insolvency Event”

In addition to these penalties, as a result of the company being liquidated, the club are now prevented from competing in Europe for the next 3 years, denying them the opportunity to possibly earn an additional £45m in revenue during this time, and are also looking as possibly losing players as a result of the TUPE regulations covering the transfer of employment contracts.

Therefore the club have already been penalised under the “insolvency event” rules and have to accept the additional consequences as a result of these events.

So as you can see at this point the club have already been punished to the maximum under the rules available to the ruling bodies for said “Insolvency Event”. 

This means that the only thing that should be considered is whether the new owners are “Fit & Proper Persons” and as a result should they be allowed to receive ownership of the SPL share and SFA membership, that’s it.

Granted there was previously no advice or rules prior to this season regarding what should happen in the event of a newco share transfer. The only advice was that the SPL board should make the decision should the situation ever arise, but the clubs demanded a say in this and this is how we end in this situation, with the clubs, their fans and chairman of the opinion that they will punish Rangersfor their misdemeanours.

Herein lies the problem – “Rangers have already been punished for those misdemeanours”

Any further punishment as a result of this could be therefore deemed as acting ultra vires, to quote Lord Glennie and could result in another trip to the Court of Session for a Judicial Review, if the ruling was then made in favour of Rangers it would allow for the SPL, clubs and directors being sued.

Why would they rule in favour of Rangers, well the answer is simple and it is written within the SPL rule book, I’ll explain.

The SPL rule book explains that if any club suffers an “Insolvency Event” as the result of an act of “Force Majeure” they can appeal any punishments received to the SPL board, who will refer the case to an Appellant Tribunal to make a final binding decision on what should be the eventual outcome.

What is “Force Majeure”?

Quite simply this means should any club suffer said “Insolvency Event” as a result of a criminal act, then they can appeal any punishments and allow the Appellant Tribunal make the decision.

Now with the Craig Whyte takeover and subsequent actions now being subject to a criminal investigation, the SPL should be looking to remove the power surrounding any newco vote from the clubs, until the investigation has concluded at the very least.

As a result, they should refer the situation to an independent Appellant Tribunal, who should allow Rangers to compete in the SPL next season under appeal with any future decisions on punishment/exclusion to be concluded after the criminal investigation/prosecution has been finalised.

Granted, if at the end of the process it is found that Rangers didn’t suffer as the result of “Force Majeure” then the SPL board would therefore be within their rights to allow the Appellant Tribunal to deal with this with whatever punishment was allowed within the rules.

However, if they don’t allow Rangers to compete under appeal next season and it is found that the club suffered as a result of “Force Majeure” they would be leaving themselves wide open to legal action for failing to abide with their own rules, similar to what happened with the SFA with respect to the transfer embargo.

Anyway an explanation of “Force Majeure” and the rules can be found here:

Pages 14,15 & 80 I think

Nookie Bear

Remember this, we will.

Football is supposed to be fun, football is where relationships are born and fostered, football is where you go to escape the everyday pressures of the Monday to Friday grind, and football gets into your bones or more specifically the club you support gets into your bones, your mood day by day is intrinsically linked to the fortunes of the club you love. As a supporter of Rangers Football Club, there’s not been a lot to smile about lately.

However I remember and always will the good times and before anyone asks this is no obituary, we will rise again!

I remember Souness coming in and revolutionizing Scottish football, we signed the England Captain! Steven Gerrard anyone? I remember beating Aberdeen 2-0 on the final day, the countless victories against Celtic and through all this it was done with my mates, they were the good times and we thought they would never end. They have.

For the clubs who wish our demise, remember this and remember it clearly: without us Scottish Football would have died a long time ago, if David Holmes had not employed Souness where would we be now? Would Celtic ever have signed the likes of Cadete? Di-Canio? Larsson? Van Hooijdonk? Would Caniggia have signed for Dundee? Well no they wouldn’t, we as a club put Scotland back on the footballing map, but the hatred from the res clouds even a hint of reasonable thought, in the words of a cleverer man than me “Jealousy is invariably a symptom of neurotic insecurity”

All the rest now throw out lines about sporting integrity (what short memories our neighbors’ from the east have), yes some individuals acted in an inappropriate manner – we deserve to be punished they say, but to the extent we have? And continue to be? No, enough is enough, some might say that we have already lost the club – to liquidation, is that enough?

No apparently not? Let’s hammer he newco aswell, no need – our new owners appear to be making a perfectly good job of that all by themselves.

This has been a farce of quite vaudevillian proportions, from Murray to Whyte, the Blue Knights and Bill Miller, Walter & McColl, Bomber Brown’s “Consortium”, the press, the sfa, the sfl, the taxman, Ticketus. It’s been a nightmare, and it never seems to end – if we were a dog we would have been put down long ago. Yet here we are.

What the future holds is anyone’s guess, some say if we go down altogether then it’s Civil War! I don’t know if that’s true but we cannot let this go, we cannot let our club wither and die, we owe it to our yesterdays and we owe it to our tomorrows, I for one will remember the good times and look ahead to many, many more.

Never have the words of one of our anthems been more true: “no one likes us, we don’t care”.

Well folks, when we are on the way back up remember where you drew you’re line in the sand, remember who you backed and don’t cry at our door when you lock the gates of your club due to certain self-serving people within Scottish society telling you to uphold your “sporting integrity”.

There will come a time when you want the Rangers to back you, to help you, to protect you, to fight your fight – when that time comes, remember your integrity, it’s all you’ll have.

Common decency and dignity mean a lot, lot more.

Steven Naismith, let him go.

Would it really still have hurt if they hadn’t held that press conference? Probably.

As much? Absolutely not.

That’s the thing about football fans, we love to believe that the players are just like us, bleeding the colours of our club and holding the history dear to their hearts.

Unfortunately it seems, players of that ilk are rare.

I would have said we had one in Steven Naismith, and would have ferociously went toe to toe with anyone who said otherwise. That’s why today hurts like knife to the heart.

No one would have blamed you for going Steven, nobody. There is definitely an argument there for not expecting you to line up against the likes of Stranraer or Montrose, not someone of your undoubted skill and flourishing potential. The fans understand that.

But it was a bitter pill to swallow watching that press conference from afar as you consistently refered to your emotional connection to Rangers as the “old co”. A Rangers man surely cannot be that oblivious to the enemies firepower Steven, that slapped the fans in the face more than missing your footballing contributions ever will.

Was it completely out of the question for you to let the contract transfer over and put in a transfer request? This would not only see to your footballing ambitions being fulfilled but also ensure the club received a fee for one of it’s star players in this time of great adversity that we face.

If only it would have played out like that Steven, you would have gone with the blessing of everyone connected to Rangers. You would have been cheered in future games against the Rangers at every touch of the ball from legions of fans who adored you. That’s Rangers Steven. Not an oldco, not a newco – just Rangers.

Going by your recent statement – perhaps you would argue no, that why should you allow yourself to fund this “newco” that you so obviously oppose? After all, the Rangers you loved died – you have no loyalty to the current form of Rangers Football Club anymore.

It hurt more than everything in the past 18 months combined, to hear you say the things you said. I remember falling to my knees as Nacho Novo’s penalty hit the back of the net against Fiorentina, when I fell to my knees yesterday as I watched that press conference – the raw emotion could not have been any more different, my heart was broken.

You were one of us Steven, you were one of us.

You could have been a legend and still left, but instead here we are. Enjoy your signing on bonus at Everton, I have a feeling that one day you’ll regret this.

I hope the remaining players who have decided to leave do so with their head held high, with honesty and integrity and treat the fans with the respect they deserve.

Although we stand here on the brink, our faith – it cannot sway.

I swore I’d be a Ranger – until my dying day.

And when my team needs me most, these words shall not be hollow.

For now brothers, the time has come – for us to follow follow.

So let the lowlife have their fun, but hold your head up high.

For while the Gers are in our hearts our club will never die.

Rangers – No financial wrongdoing

A lot has been written and said in the media about the alleged financial wrongdoing at Rangers, most of it inaccurate, and it’s because of these inaccuracies that other club’s supporters and other SPL clubs, as well as the SFA are on the road to punish Rangers, for acts and offences that did not take place.

The biggest failing at Rangers has been and is the failing to put the truth out there

It is with absolute disbelief that I see SPL clubs are being asked to vote of a situation that has been wrongly explained to them. This failing is Scotland’s shame.

Why did Rangers go into administration?
Despite massive coverage of the big tax case on EBT’s, the sole reason why RFC went into administration was because the short term owner, Craig Whyte, chose to not pay the club’s fiscal duties to hmrc. The petition to put RFC into administration was therefore only as a result of action taken by Whyte during 2011/2012 season.

So what about the small tax case?
Every year up and down the country sole traders, partnerships and companies are enquired into by hmrc. If any mistakes are detected then that person / company gets billed along with interest and maybe a penalty. This is just typical policing of the system and is just hmrc doing their job.

The Small TC is a typical example of this.

I would be amazed if none of the other SPL clubs, or companies run by the various chairmen have never been in this position.

Again, I should emphasize, this does not mean wrongdoing or financial impropriety.

For Rangers, they made a mistake with the beneficial share scheme, they accepted the mistake and agreed to repay what was due (which was a relatively small amount in comparison to turnover). That became payable only during 2011/12.

But under Whyte, this agreed payment was defaulted and was then rolled up with the withheld PAYE / VAT that led to the administration.

So in summary, Rangers went into liquidation for failing to pay duties that only became due during the 2011/2012 season. No wrongdoing in earlier years.

And Rangers have been punished for this, by a 10 point deduction.

So have Rangers done wrong before 2011/12?
As it stands today, no, they have not. And importantly the creditors accept that Rangers have not done anything wrong.

How do we know Rangers have done nothing wrong even if they lose the Big Tax Case?
Firstly, let’s examine what is in the hmrc statement.

“….allowing the potential investigation and pursuit of possible claims against those responsible for the company’s financial affairs in recent years..”

Taken on face value, it is said that efforts will be made to collect the duties from “those responsible”.

So who is responsible?
Clearly not Rangers as a company / employer based on this. This leaves (1) the ex-directors and / or (2) the players / employees who benefited.

So what does this mean?
It means that the Income Tax (PAYE) 2003, regulation 72(5) can be applied.

For the employees this means that while normally if a company or employer fails to deduct tax/NIC then it becomes liable for the amount due. But if hmrc are satisfied that the company / employer (1) took reasonable care to comply with these regulations, and (2) that the failure to deduct the excess was due to an error made in good faith then under condition A, the tax bill can be directed onto the individual employee, whether that be Ferguson, McLeish or whoever.

For directors, Condition B applies, which says that if hmrc are of the opinion that the director as an employee has received relevant payments knowing that the employer willfully failed to deduct the amount of tax then that director will have the tax bill directed onto them. So wallets out Messes Murray, Bain et al

But what does that mean for Rangers?
It impacts on the penalty situation if the EBTs are found to be taxable by the 1st tier tribunal.

Put simply, in order to pursue the directors or employees for the tax, there has to be acceptance that Rangers took reasonable care to comply with the tax regulations and that the tax bill on the EBTs was no more than an error made in good faith.

So it is accepted that Rangers did no wrong?
Yes, it is accepted that they as an employer, took reasonable care, and did nothing wrong.

No tax evasion.
No tax avoidance.
No financial wrongdoing.
No financial doping.
No lack of sporting integrity.

But what about “dual contracts”?
This is a false description of an EBT.
There are no 2nd contracts of service of employment. This is important.
What there is, is an agreement (at best / worst) promising a payment from a 3rd party, that party being the trust. If it is ruled that the trust payments are taxable that still does not mean that the letters constitute a contract of service. That’s a totally different argument and one that has not been pursued.

And importantly, one that cannot be pursued if it is decided to pursue others for the tax. So in summary it is already accepted that the letters are not contracts of employment, of service and as such are not liable for reporting to the sfa / spl.

If either took a different view, then it is a view at odds with that of the experts, hmrc.

So why would the SPL legitimately refuse newco Rangers admittance?
The only legitimate reason to believe that newco Rangers should be refused admittance is if the other SPL clubs reasonably believed that (1) Rangers will lose the BTC and (2) that in losing it, it will be ruled that they actually did something wrong, and didn’t just make a mistake, made in good faith.

The problem for the SPL clubs, if they want to be honest and show integrity, is that they will not know the outcome of the BTC before the vote, and even then won’t know if that outcome includes a conclusion of wrongdoing or innocent error.

So what can they do? If I was an SPL chairman, I’d put forward a proposal to allow newco Rangers to join on the basis that at the time of the vote they had not been found guilty of wrongdoing. But with a condition that if the EBT case was ruled to be taxable and if it was held that Rangers did do wrong (in comparison to just making honest mistakes) then they would be automatically relegated at the season end in Div 1. If I was representing Rangers, this is what I’d argue for.

 

The delusions of a chief correspondent.

There’s a certain television reporter out there who has been used like a cheap prostitute by a certain tax case blog and their followers to catapult themselves into the limelight of Scottish football to unearth an unholy dominance of Scotland as a whole by Rangers Football Club.

This deluded old man actually believed that he was onto the story of a lifetime. Unfortunately for him and his punters, it’s merely shown up the extensive lack of credibility that was already apparent when it comes to the paranoid delusions pandered by a certain type of Scottish creature.

Mr T has even reported some of their wildest fantasies as fact.

“UEFA will treat a CVA the same as a newco and punish with European ban”  – No they won’t Mr T, you were just fed that by the trolls and you lapped it up.

You even claimed to have been threatened by a Scottish Journalist when it was clearly a parody Twitter account created by a Celtic supporter, and you lapped it up.

You claimed that Craig Whyte was not going to budge for a penny less than 30m, clearly pandering to the line that Rangers were going to die – you just made that up Mr T.  You plucked it out of thin air.

What’s wrong with you?

One of your blogs includes the following:

“Nobody likes a cheat in sport. And here we have one in the shape of the loudest, biggest club with what some see as a tawdry history of bigotry, violent fans and a frankly supremacist culture. So when the bully and the cheat gets his come-uppance, there will be some vitriol.”

The above drivel confirms to me that you’re being used for the sole purpose of attempting to further discredit Rangers outwith Scotland by creatures with a serious anti-Rangers agenda.

You’re simply the most gullible person in the media world Mr T – and you can’t even see you’re being manipulated within an ounce of your career.

It’s gotten to the stage where you actually dreamt up meeting a perspective Rangers buyer and reported on it – just to appear like you had “sources” in this whole sorry saga. You weren’t even in London that day were you Mr T? The day you supposedly met this billionaire Rangers man?

You have been shown to be nothing more than a deluded and gullible old fool since you started believing what you were being told by the likes of a certain Scottish “freelance reporter” who’s actually Irish but really Scottish but wants to be Irish so now lives in the “hills of Donegal”.

This is why Rangers fans will now read your articles and laugh, we won’t let you get to us with your snidey snipes at the Legends of our Club, you just continue on making a fool of yourself.

Don’t forget though, the sleeping giant is waking up – don’t be surprised to see your slanderous nonsense taken to task in a more official capacity in the not so distant future.

You have become a joke in the circles in which you worked so hard to conquer.

They’re laughing at you now Mr T, all of them.